Officially, the oldest person in the world was Jeanne Calment, born February 21 in 1875.
The French woman survived her only grandson and from 1965 on had no living relatives. She died in 1997 being 122 years and 164 days old. Jeanne was physically fit for a long time. At the age of one hundred years old, she was still able to move around and even ride a bike. She claimed that she never really attached special importance to her health and that she was unable to quit smoking. She smoked her last cigarette at the age of 117.
Many people claim that the title of oldest person in the world does not belong to Mrs. Calment at all. Apparently Li Qingyun lived to be 256-years old! He was therefore more than twice as old as the French record holder. The date of his death was confirmed, but the year he was born is still a matter of debate. Many people don’t believe that he could actually live for that many years, but the congratulatory letters found in the archives of the imperial government in Chengdu do not seem to lie. They are from the years 1827 and 1877 and were given out on the occasion of Li Qingyun’s 150th and 200th birthday.
Go to the next page to find out more about this extraordinary man.