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World IN BRIEF : FRANCE : Woman, 120, Deemed Oldest Living Person

October 18, 1995|From Times Wire Reports

After 120 years and 238 days on the planet, Jeanne Calment's name went into the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest living person whose date of birth can be authenticated. "I've been forgotten by a good God," she joked from her nursing home in the southern city of Arles. "I'm a normal woman. I wish the world the same life as mine: rosy and successful." Hard of hearing and nearly blind, Calment surpassed Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan, who died in 1986 after living 120 years and 237 days. Calment vividly recalls selling colored pencils to Vincent van Gogh when the artist lived in Arles and frequented her father's shop.

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