May 4th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

World's oldest person dies a week before turning 115

The world’s oldest person, Kama Chinen, of Okinawa, Japan, died on Sunday just a week short of her 115th birthday, Guinness World Records reports.

Chinen was the world’s oldest living person for almost eight months following the September 11, 2009, death of American Gertrude Baines, according to a Guinness statement. It said it is researching who is now the world’s oldest living person.

The all-time record for longevity is France’s Jean Louise Calment, who died in August 1997 after living 122 years, 164 days, Guinness said.

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Filed under: Japan • World
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. sam

    hard to believe she made it that long considering all of the diseases they had back and no vaccines.

    May 6, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mal

    "Could be kinda odd having a talk with someone whose grand parents (possibly actually parents) were US civil war vets"

    I doubt that Kama Chiken had a parent or grandparent who fought in the US Civil War.

    But my grandfather's grandfather did, and it wasn't odd talking to my grandfather.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. r. scot rasmussen

    How tragic, at just the young tender age of 115. That's what living a hard life of smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, and a poor diet will do to you – LOL

    May 6, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    If anyone has a claim to age 110+ they can e-mail me at

    As for Hazmat, actually yes people can and do die of "old age". The argument that "old age" cannot be a cause of death is really the scientific equivalent of's a myth to comfort people into thinking that there is a treatable cause other than aging itself. Yet if no one died of cancer, the average life expectancy would only go up 15 years. So what are people dying of, then?

    I suggest you do some research on the Hayflick limit.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. kamikazi

    Just a thought about the comments stating that people living that long get to watch all the people they love die. True, but think of all the loved ones you get to see birthed (is that a word?), and all the new friends you meet from living such a long life. She would probably corner the friend market on facebook.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Zach

    Tali4, you are, in fact, the one is mathematically challenged. If someone is 122 years old today, that means they were born in either 1887 or 1888, NOT 1888 or 1889 as you have said.

    You should really start fact-checking yourself before preaching such ignorance.

    May 6, 2010 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. marcos

    The oldest person in the world was not this okinawan lady its actually a Palestinian woman who as of last year was 128 years old.

    The oldest lady in the world before her was a salvadorian lady who died at the age of 128 back in 2007.

    HMMM.....discrimminating against people from poor countries arent we?? I guess the palestinian diet or the salvadorian diet dont sound so glamorous and exotic to western ears in order to make big bucks off of them.

    this is such a disgust

    May 6, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. flgator321

    What a shame. Another person dies while just reaching the prime of their life. Let this be a lesson kids. Tomorrow is never promised.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. flgator321

    Oh yeah, Marcos...I highly doubt Palestinian & Salvadoran record keeping from 120+ years ago is accurate enough to prove the true ages of these people you speak of. I doubt they were born in hospitals with birth cert's etc.

    May 6, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rono

    I doubt the credibility of statistics taken behind determination of the oldest person.For instance in Africa,some old people die in the interior without the consent of the administration,statician etc because of the localized burial. arrangements

    May 18, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. sunnyside

    She probably ate spam and potted meat most of her life. Had to be well preserved.

    January 10, 2011 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
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