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Tuesday, June 21,2011

World's oldest person dies at 114 in Brazil

By McClatchy-Tribune News Service

RIO DE JANEIRO — The world's oldest person according to Guinness World Records died in the early hours of Tuesday at age 114, due to multiple organ failure, her family said. She would have turned 115 on July 9.

Brazilian Maria Gomes Valentim, known in her homeland as "Grandma Quita," had only been acknowledged to be the world's oldest person on May 18. Guinness World Records certified that she was 48 days older than U.S. citizen Besse Cooper, who had until then been regarded as the world's oldest person.

Valentim was admitted into hospital Sunday in Carangola, the town in the state of Minas Gerais, where she had been born, with symptoms of pneumonia, said her great-granddaughter Tais Nolasco.

Born in 1896, she attributed her longevity to a healthy diet, including "a full roll of bread every morning with coffee, fruit and the occasional milk with linseed," according to Guinness World Records. Till the end of her life, she could eat on her own, she enjoyed spicy food and she indulged in the occasional glass of wine.

"Grandma Quita" was the oldest of six children, and all her siblings died before her. She married at age 16, in 1913, and she had only one child, who also died. Her husband died in 1946, and she never remarried.


(c) 2011, Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (Hamburg, Germany).

Visit dpa on the Internet at http://www.dpa.de/English.82.0.html

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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