Budapest, Hungary – Mrs. Katalin Bélik, the oldest Hungarian, passed away on November 3 at the age of 111 years old. According to Hungary Today, she is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren!
Born in 1907 under the reign of Franz Joseph in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, she survived two world wars, the 1956 revolution… and no less than 53 prime ministers. She shared her birth year with the construction of Budapest’s Music Academy, the publication of Ferenc Molnár’s popular novel Paul Street Boys, the first ever “ball drop” held in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and the completion of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
According to her, she lived such a long life because she “danced a lot and worked hard”.
At the age of 115 years and 306 days, the world’s oldest verified living person is Kane Tanaka, from Japan, after Chiyo Miyako passed away this summer, aged 117.
The oldest verified person in human history was France’s Jeanne Calment who died aged 122 in 1997. According to Calment, who met Vincent van Gogh during her childhood, the most significant event of her lifetime was the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Although her claim cannot be verified due to a lack of proper documentation, Russia’s Koku Istambulova claims to be the oldest person in history at 129 years old. She says she has not had a single happy day in her entire life, and has no idea how she has managed to live this long, calling her long life “nothing but a punishment”.