Guinness World Records said a 114-year-old French woman living in St Barts has been named the world’s oldest person after the death of a Japanese woman. The record-keeping organization said Eugenie Blanchard, 114, who lives on the island of St Barts in the Caribbean, was named the world’s oldest person once the Gerontology Research Group verified her birthday as Feb. 16, 1896, Radio France Internationale reported Tuesday. The previous oldest person in the world, Japan’s Kama Chinen, died recently only one week from her 115th birthday. She took the record after a U.S. woman died in September 2009.
For the past 20 years, she has been living at the Bruyn hospital in Saint Barts and her nephew Daniel Blanchard told AFP that the woman known as “La Douchy” — a Creole word for candy — still had a zest for life. “Because of her age, she had to be hospitalised but she still loves having a glass of champagne, at least on her birthday,” Blanchard said in 2008.
Cuba’s Juana Bautista de la Candelaria, who relatives claim is 125, may be the oldest living person, but the case has not yet been verified by Guinness. See our report on her claim on our earlier post at Cuban woman is 125, perhaps oldest person on Earth.