The world's oldest known person, a French nun who survived two pandemics, died Tuesday at age 118. Sister André also holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest nun who ever lived, and was also the oldest known person to survive COVID-19. She was born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904, and looked after children during World War II; she spent most of her life in service, including 28 years caring for orphans and the elderly, CNN reports. She was born into a Protestant family but converted to Catholicism at age 19 and became a nun at age 45. She worked until age 108. She spent recent years in the nursing home in Toulon, France, where she died in her sleep, Forbes reports.
"There is great sadness, but she wanted it to happen, it was her desire to join her beloved brother. For her, it is freedom," Sister André's spokesperson said after her death. The nun became the oldest known person in the world after the death of Kane Tanaka last year at age 119. The new oldest person in the world is now believed to be María Branyas Morera, 115, who was born in the US but now lives in Spain. The longest-lived person ever is Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived 122 years and 164 days before dying in 1997. (A woman thought to have been the oldest in the US died recently at age 115.)