Maria de Jesus
Maria de Jesus
Birth: 10 September 1893
Olival, Ourém, Kingdom of Portugal
Death: 2 January 2009
Corujo, Tomar, Portugal
Age: 115 years, 114 days
Country: POR FlagPOR
Maria de Jesus dos Santos (10 September 1893 – 2 January 2009) was a Portuguese supercentenarian and, after the death of American Edna Parker on 26 November 2008 until her own death, the world's oldest living person. De Jesus became the oldest living person in Portugal at the age of 111 years, 318 days after the death of 114-year-old Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes on 25 July 2005 and the oldest living person in Europe at the age of 112 years, 336 days after the death of 114-year-old Frenchwoman Camille Loiseau on 12 August 2006.[1] De Jesus was the last validated living person born in 1893.[1]


Born as Maria de Jesus, she married in 1919 and became a widow in 1951, when she was 57 years old (born illegitimate, "Maria de Jesus" was a given name that was her entire name at birth, "dos Santos" was the surname of her husband but she made little use of it in life). From that relationship, five children were born, three of whom are still living. One of those, a daughter, Madalena, was born on 25 December 1924 and lives with her. She also has 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren. During her lifetime, she visited the hospital only once and was long in very good health, with the exception of her ambulation. Maria worked on the land for her entire life and still lived in her own house instead of a nursing home (like the majority of supercentenarians), where she wakes up every morning at 11AM to do her daily hand exercises. Although she was still responsive as of November 2008, she could no longer recognize her family, and had serious problems with her sight and hearing, although she was still able to smile and wave at visitors. She still walked around with the aid of a walker. She enjoyed looking through her old family albums, sunbathing at her porch, eating Portuguese rice pudding and ice cream, as well as taking baths. Reportedly, she never smoked or drank alcohol. She also avoided eating meat, preferring to eat fish and vegetables.[2]

On 11 June 2008, at age 114 years, 275 days, De Jesus surpassed Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes as the oldest verified Portuguese person of all time.


Maria de Jesus died on 2 January 2009.[3] The cause of death was reported as septic shock. Her death left 114-year-old American Gertrude Baines as the oldest living person.[4]

See also


External links

World's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Betsy BakerJennie HowellMarie CarstensonNancy RyanChristina Karnebeek-Backs • Marie Olsen • Mary Kelly • Elizabeth Kensley • William Fullingim • Hannah Smith • John Mosley Turner • Johanna Booysen • Marie Bernatkova • Ada Roe • Josefa Salas Mateo • Alice Stevenson • Elizabeth Watkins • Mito Umeta • Niwa Kawamoto • Sophia DeMuth • Marie-Virginie Duhem • Fannie Thomas • Augustine Tessier • Nellie Spencer • Emma Wilson • Mathew Beard • Augusta Holtz • Mary McKinney • Anna Eliza Williams • Florence Knapp • Jeanne Calment • Marie-Louise Meilleur • Sarah Knauss • Eva Morris • Marie Bremont • Maud Farris-Luse • Grace Clawson • Adelina Domingues • Mae Harrington • Yukichi Chuganji • Mitoyo Kawate • Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan • Maria Capovilla • Elizabeth Bolden • Emiliano Mercado del Toro • Emma Tillman • Yone Minagawa • Edna Parker • Maria de Jesus • Gertrude Baines • Kama Chinen • Eugenie Blanchard • Maria Gomes Valentim • Besse Cooper • Dina Manfredini • Jiroemon Kimura • Misao Okawa • Gertrude Weaver • Jeralean Talley • Susannah Mushatt Jones • Emma Morano • Violet BrownNabi Tajima • Chiyo MiyakoKane Tanaka