Meet Jeanne Calment, the woman who lived to be 122 years old
Considering the average lifespan is about 72 years old, it’s an incredible accomplishment to live to be 100 years or more. These individuals witness an entire century of history. But then there are others, supercentenarians, who live to be over 110 years old. This includes Jeanne Calment of Arles, France, who lived an astonishing 122 years.
All the inventions she saw
Calment witnessed a remarkable amount of inventions in her long life. Born in 1875, she lived during the age when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. She was alive for 14 years before the historic Eiffel Tower was built in Paris. She lived to see the first automobile, radio, television set, and more.
But if that doesn’t surprise you, when she was 12 years old, Calment sold a painting canvas to Vincent Van Gogh at her father’s store. However, she wasn’t impressed with the budding artist.
Her incredible life
In 1896, Calment married her cousin, a shop owner who could financially support her. The couple had one daughter, Yvonne. Unfortunately, Calment lived longer than her husband, daughter, son-in-law and even grandson.
When she was 90 years old, she sold her apartment to a lawyer, under the terms that he would pay her 2,500 francs a month until her death. Little did they know that Calment would out-live the lawyer, as well.
Her active life paid off
So, how did Calment live to be 122 years old? What was her secret? She could credit her physical, active life. Calment rode a bicycle every day until she turned 100 years old. She also was active with roller skating, tennis, hunting, and swimming.
But others comment that the real key for her long life was that Calment didn’t worry about her problems. She had a loving marriage, was never ill, painted, and played the piano. She never felt stressed, allowing her to live a happy life.
During her final years, Calment’s health slowly began to deteriorate, as expected. She fractured two bones, went deaf and blind, and was in a nursing home. But despite these illnesses, Calment was happy right up until the end. She passed away on August 4, 1997, and we can all agree she had the best life.