The World’s Oldest Person Dies at 119


Abbie Nelson, Staff Writer

Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman holding the record for the world’s oldest person, died last week at the age of 119. She was a few months short of her 120 birthday.

Officials said Tanaka died of old age on April 19 in the hospital in her hometown of Fukuoka, Japan. According to officials, it wasn’t until very recently that she was hospitalized until then she was living in a local nursing home in Fukuoka.

According to ABC News, “Fukuoka Gov. Seitaro Hattori said in a statement he was shocked and saddened by her loss as he was looking forward to marking the Respect for the Aged Day later this year in person over chocolate and fizzy drinks.”

Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903. She lived through two battles with cancer, two world wars, a multitude of historical events, the 1918 Spanish flu, and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Guinness World Records certified her as the oldest living person in 2019 at the age of 116 at such time she was still enjoying daily life and hoped to make it to 120 years old.

Would you want to be the world’s oldest person? Thunder Ridge High School Senior Bryn Kirkendoll says “I think it is amazing the life Kane Tanaka lived. It definitely would be cool to live that old, however, I think it really depends on how you could live.”

With Tanaka’s recent death, the world’s oldest human is now Lucile Randon. Randon is a French Nun better known as Sister Andre and is 118 years old.

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