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World's oldest person, Kane Tanaka, dies at 119

"I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic," Tanaka said in a tweet posted by her family.

FUKUOKA, Japan — The world's oldest person, a Japanese woman named Kane Tanaka, has died at 119, Guinness World Records said Monday.

On April 13, Tanaka's family said on Twitter that Tanaka had been hospitalized repeatedly. 

“I was able to come this far with the support of many people," Tanaka said in a tweet shared by her family and translated by the record book. "I hope you will continue to have fun, [and be] cheerful and energetic."

Tanaka had been living at a rest home in Fukuoka, where she enjoyed playing board games — especially Othello — and doing math. She was usually up by 6 a.m.

Guinness World Records said even at 119, Tanaka had a sweet tooth and loved chocolate and cola. On the day her official world record certificate was presented to her in 2019, she received a box of chocolates — and started eating them immediately. 

She was born Jan. 2, 1903, the seventh among eight children. She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and they had four children and adopted another child. The couple ran a family business that made and sold sticky rice, sweets and Udon noodles.

The oldest person ever was a French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years and died in 1997. Guinness World Records said the oldest man ever was Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, who was born in 1897 and died at 116 years old in 2013. 

Credit: AP
FILE - Kane Tanaka, then 116-years-old, reacts after receiving a Guinness World Records certificate, background, at a nursing home where she lives in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan on March 9, 2019.

The record book said the oldest living person is now a French nun named Sister André, born in February 1904 as Lucile Randon. She is also the world's oldest nun and the oldest person to survive COVID-19.

MORE: French nun who survived coronavirus toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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