Oldest person on earth, Maria Gomes Valentim, dies just before 115th birthday

maria-gomes-valentim.jpegOne-hundred and fourteen year old Maria Gomes Valentim, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest person in the world, has passed away, just 18 days before the birthday that would have made her 115 years old.

Ventim was born on July 9th, 1896, in the hillside town of Carangola in the southeast of Brazil. She lived in Carangola all her life, attributing her good health to minding her own business, putting lots of pepper on her food, and enjoying a small glass of wine on occasion.

Valentim complained of pain on Sunday and entered the hospital that day, succumbing to multiple organ failure early Tuesday morning. "It was a privilege to live with her, we have many lovely things to remember," said her granddaughter, Jane Ribeiro Moraes.

The record for oldest person in the world now reverts to American Besse Cooper, aged 114 years and 299 days, who held the record for some time before Valentim's birth date was verified.
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