world oldest people image

World Oldest People - Sixth Spot - María Capovilla

María Capovilla (September 14, 1889 – August 27, 2006) of Guayaquil, Ecuador, was at the time of her death at age 116 years and 347 days, recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living person. She was the last remaining documented person born in the 1880s.


María Ester Heredia Lecaro in Guayaquil, María was the daughter of a colonel, and lived a life among the upper-class elite, attending social functions and art classes. For the health concious amoungst you it is interesting to note that she never smoked or drank hard liquor. In 1917, she married a military officer, Antonio Capovilla, who died in 1949. Antonio, an ethnic Italian, was born in Pola, Austria-Hungary (now Pula, Croatia) in 1864. He moved to Chile in 1894 and then to Ecuador in 1910. After his first wife died, he married María. They had five children, three of whom were still actually living at her passing: Hilda (81), Irma (80) and son Anibal (78). She also had eleven grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

At age 100 (which is certainly a good stretch by anyones standards), María nearly died and was given last rites, but had been free of health problems since then. As recently as December 2005 Maria was said to be in good health and able to watch TV, read the papers and walk without the aid of a stick (though she was helped by an aide). However, she was unable physically to leave her home in the past two years, which she shared with her eldest surviving daughter, Hilda, and her son-in-law. In a media interview, María stated her dislike of the fact that women nowadays are permitted to court men, rather than the reverse from back in her time.

By March 2006, María's health had declined considerably, and she was no longer unfortunately able to read the newspaper. She had also nearly stopped talking altogether and could no longer walk except when helped by two persons. Still, María was able to sit erect in her chair and fan herself, and had been doing 'fine' until she succumbed to a bad bout of pneumonia in the last week of August in 2006.

Oldest People: 1 and 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 2007 By Canada | NZ.