Jeanne Calment

Was Jeanne Calment the Oldest Person Who Ever Lived—or a Fraud?

Jeanne Calment was 122 years of age when she died in France in 1997, and the oldest person in the world. It was only some years after her death that people started to question whether 1875 was in fact the year of her birth, and suggesting that the woman who claimed to be Jeanne Calment was in fact her daughter Yvonne. This is a fascinating story of gerontology (including such alarming nuggets as the the Gompertz law which states that “the mortality rate for adult humans roughly doubles with every additional eight years of age”) and social history.