Luo Meizhen, the oldest woman in the world – who Chinese authorities claimed was 127 years old, although international officials never recognised the information – died in China.
Meizhen, who was born in 1885, died during the weekend after months of illness, according to her son Huang Youhe.
“She was 127 when she died, it was not unexpected,” her grandson Huang Heyuan said. “She was a kind person but at times had a very bad temper… she had a strong character,” Heyuan added.
Luo worked at farms during all her life, and gave birth to five children. Her relatives cherished her memory by gathering in her simply furnished brick house on Tuesday to light red incense sticks.
If true, Luo’s declared birth date means she may have been the oldest person in the world when she died, ahead of Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who records say is 116. However, her claim was hardly recognized internationally because China had a reliable birth certification only decades after Luo was born.
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest person ever to have lived was Jeanne Calment of France, who was 122 years and 164 days when she died in 1997.