Brazillian named oldest living person

May 18, 2011 at 3:35 PM
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CARANGOLA, Brazil, May 18 (UPI) -- Guinness World Records announced a Brazilian woman who is 114 years and 313 days old is being officially recognized as the world's oldest living person.

The record-keeping organization said Maria Gomes Valentim of Carangola was given the title after she was found to be 48 days older than the previous record holder, Besse Cooper of Monroe, Ga., who has now been dubbed the oldest living North American.

Valentim, who was born July 9, 1896, said her long life is likely connected to her diet, which includes a full roll of bread each morning with coffee and fruit. She said she occasionally drinks a glass of wine.

"To receive a claim from a woman born during the reign of Queen Victoria -- before the Ford Motor Co. was formed, or before even George and Ira Gershwin were born -- is remarkable in itself, but for that woman to be Brazilian makes it extra special. Never has a successful claim for longevity emerged from Brazil -- until now," said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records.

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