The World’s ‘New’ Oldest Woman: Brazil’s Maria Gomes Valentim, 114

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Guinness World Records

At 114 years and 313 days, Maria Gomes Valentim now holds the Guinness World Record for Oldest Living Person, the organization announced Wednesday. Born on July 9, 1896, the Brazilian woman is 48 days older than the former record-holder. She was married in 1913 and has been widowed for over half a century, but has one son, four grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren to keep her company.

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Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday said that this development is particularly significant because “never has a successful claim for longevity emerged from Brazil.” In fact, most “oldest living” claims turn out to be false or undocumentable because  “applicants must have original proof of birth issued within 20 years of the birth and proof that the person alive today is the same person in the original birth record.”

So what is Valentim’s secret to life everlasting? Quite simple, actually. She starts every morning with coffee, bread and fruit — and enjoys the occasional glass of wine.

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