Vietnam's oldest person dies at 119
Jun 21, 2011, 5:27 GMT
Hanoi - Vietnam's oldest person, who saw three centuries and four decades of war, has died at 119, authorities said Tuesday.
Tran Thi Viet, who was born in 1892, died Friday at her home in a village in the southern province of Long An and was buried Monday, said Tran Huu Phuoc, chairman of the provincial People's Committee, which organized her funeral.
Viet had 10 children, seven of whom were killed after they joined the North Vietnamese army to fight against the United States. She was given the title Vietnam Heroic Mother for her contributions to the country during what Vietnam calls the American War.
Vietnamese authorities said they had documented her age from papers issued by French colonial authorities. Long An authorities sent her profile to the Guinness World Records for the title of the world's oldest person alive, but she died while they were awaiting a response.
If the record book had confirmed her age, she would have been the world's oldest person. The current official record holder is Brazilian Maria Gomes Valentim, who is 114 and 313 days years old.
The oldest person ever documented by Guinness was Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who was 122 years old when she died in 1997.
Ninety-nine per cent of claims to age 115 and more turn out to be false or undocumentable, according to the company.