Oldest Known Person In The World Dies At 118

Valérie Le Parc

In France on February 11, 1904, a baby girl named Lucile Randon was born. During her life, she worked as a teacher, and in 1944, she became a nun. At this time, she became known as Sister André. For the past 12 years, she has spent her days living in a nursing home.

Last year, after the death of Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lived to be 119, Randon became the oldest person currently alive. Last year, when Randon was asked about the secret to a long life, she told the media, “People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108.”

On Tuesday January 17, 2023, at the age of 118, Randon passed away. According to David Tavella, a spokesperson for Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home, where Randon lived, she died in her sleep around 2am. He explained that while her death is sad, “It was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it’s a liberation.”

During Randon’s life, she lived through two pandemics and saw numerous changes in the world. Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, pointed out a few amazing facts about her life. He wrote, “How incredible that we shared the same air as someone who was born just a couple of months after the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight – and a few months before the New York subway system opened. We’d only had two Olympics Games by the time she was born in 1904, and only one Tour de France. Teddy Roosevelt was US President and Alfred Balfour was British Prime Minister! In her birth home of France, Cezanne was still painting, Matisse hadn’t yet had a solo exhibition, and Jean-Paul Sartre hadn’t even been born! It’s difficult to fathom that someone born before the patenting of plastic, zips or even bras was alive well into the 21st century, and robust enough to beat COVID-19.” 

Watch the video below to learn more about Randon’s life in an interview with her last year.

Now that Randon is no longer the oldest living person, that title is now held by an American-born woman named Maria Branyas Morera. Morera is currently 115 years old. She was born in California in 1907 but currently lives in Spain.

In one of her last few interviews, Randon left us with a few words of wisdom. Besides sharing that she enjoys chocolate and wine, she explained a deeper message for the world. “People should help each other and love each other instead of hating. If we shared all that, things would be a lot better.”