Oldest person in the world cursed? Jeanne Calment wasn’t, she lived to 122 yrs and told of meeting Van Gogh

Season 32, episode of Saturday Night Live, December 9th, 2006,
Justin Timberlake hosting. During the news segment:

Seth Meyers: Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bolden, the world’s oldest person, died Monday in a Memphis nursing home at the age of 116. Man, it’s like that title, “World’s Oldest Person”, is cursed or something.

_____________________________________

Jeanne Calment was not cursed at all. I was amazed by her life story. Below is a picture of her in 1897 at age 22. She had met Vincent van Gogh at age 13.  I have been to various museums across Europe to see his paintings, and I am currently doing a series on the artists mentioned in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” and Vincent van Gogh is one of the artists I will be discussing in an upcoming post. I have put links below to some of the other posts in that series.

https://i0.wp.com/www.grg.org/images/JCalment/JCalmentDate1.jpg

21st February 1875 – 4th August 1997 Age: 122 years 164 days
 

Calment500 13521S

Jeanne Calment is my favorite. Super longevity is a fascinating topic for me. Considering that the maximum human lifespan possible is considered to be 123 – 125 years of age, makes Jeanne very special indeed. She definitely overstayed her time here on Earth.

Jeanne Louise Calment was a French supercentenarian from Arles. She outlived her daughter and her grandson. She was very well known at age 113 on the centenary of Vincent Van Gogh’s visit to Arles. She was the last person living to have personally met the artist. Her lifespan has been thoroughly documented, with more proof of her age than for any other case.

Funny Fact: Calment had no living heirs in 1965 at age 90. She made a deal to sell her apartment to lawyer Andrea-Francois Raffray on a contingency contract. This is often referred to as a reverse mortgage. He agreed to pay her 2500 francs every month until her death. Sounds like a smart move on his part considering she was 90 years old. He ended up paying her what equates to $180,000, which is more than double the apartment’s worth. After Raffray’s death in 1995 from cancer at age 77, his wife continued the payments until Calment’s death. How silly would you feel making that deal then having her live over 32 years after age 90?

Calment met Vincent Van Gogh in 1888 when he came to her father’s shop to buy some paint and pencils. She described him as dirty, badly dressed and disagreeable. She remembers this visit clearly along with watching the Eiffel tower being built.

At age 85 Jeanne took up fencing and at age 100 she was still riding a bicycle. She claimed to never have been athletic or fanatical about health and fitness. Calment lived alone until just before her 110th birthday. It was decided that she would be better off in a nursing home after a cooking accident nearly killed her. Jeanne was in great health and was able to walk right up until age 114 and 11 months when she fractured her femur from a fall. after an operation on the broken limb she required a wheelchair. She became ill with the flu just before her 116th birthday. She smoked right up until she was 117. Calment ascribed her longevity and youthful looks to olive oil. She rubbed it on her skin, drank it and used it in cooking. She enjoyed port wine and ate almost one kilogram (2.2lbs) of chocolate per week.

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