Genealogists record dates of birth, death, and other major life events. It seems appropriate that we should take note of those who exceed the norm. Maria Esther de Capovilla, believed to be the world's oldest person, has died at the age of 116. Born on Sept. 14, 1889, the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, Capovilla was married in 1917 and widowed in 1949.
Capovilla was confirmed as the oldest living person on Dec. 9, 2005, after her family sent details of her birth and marriage certificates to the British-based publisher, Guinness World Records. Three of Capovilla's five children are still alive, along with 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Maria Esther de Capovilla always ate three meals a day and never smoked or drank hard liquor. "Only a small cup of wine with lunch and nothing more," according to her granddaughter.
Robert Young, senior consultant for Gerontology for Guinness World Records, said Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tenn., now appears to be the oldest person alive. She is 116, but she was born 11 months after Capovilla."
Emiliano Mercado Del Toro, of Puerto Rico, retains the title as oldest man at 114.