Spain’s supercentenarians: Deep dive into the lives of the oldest people in Spain

With Spain now home to the world’s oldest person the Olive Press takes a look at the lives of other Spanish supercentenarians

Spain now has the world’s oldest person following the death of a 118-year-old French nun.

Now Maria Branyas Morera has taken the title of the oldest living person at the ripe age of 115.

Maria, who lives in Catalunya, was born on April 4, 1907 in San Francisco. 

She returned to Spain in 1914 with the rest of her Catalan family, and has been living in the Tura d’Olot senior home for several years. 

In 2020, she contracted Covid-19 at the age of 113, but overcame the illness.

The world's oldest person
Maria Branyas Morera, who this week became the world’s oldest person.

There has only been one other Spaniard before her since 1955 who shared the same accolade. 

According to Guinness World Records, Josefa Salas Mateo was the world’s oldest person between 1970 and 1973 and lived for 112 years and 228 days.

She was born in Prado del Rey in Andalucia on July 14 in 1860 and died in Tarifa on February 27 in 1973.

Salas Mateo was the first verified Spanish supercentenarian, and also the first verified person documented to die at age 112. 

She was also the last recognised surviving person documented as born in 1860 and was the fourth oldest person in Spain. 

Jmateo
Josefa Salas Mateo was the world’s oldest person between 1970 and 1973.

Ana Maria Vela Rubio, who died in 2017, was the world’s third oldest person at 116 years. 

She was born in the Andalucian town of Puente Genil in October 29, 1901.

At the time of her death on December 15 in 2017 she was the third-oldest living person in the world and became the oldest living European on April 15, 2017. 

She surpassed Maria Antonio Castro (114), who was noted for holding the title as Spain’s oldest person for the longest time, 20 years. 

She was the fifth oldest person in the world when she died in 2016. 

Ana Vela Rubio 115
Ana Maria Vela Rubio was the world’s third oldest person at 116 years. 

Joan Riudavets-Moll became the oldest living person in Europe in May 2003 and the oldest man in the world in September of that year after the death of Yukichi Chuganji at the age of 113.

The Menorca-born man died at 114 years in March 2004 – He reportedly just had a cold during the last few days of his life, but was not seriously ill. 

Riudavets-Moll is followed by other supercentenarians Francisco Nuñez Olivera (113), Saturnino de la Fuerte Garcia (112), Josep Armengol (112), Jesus Mosteo (111) and Antonio Urrea (111).

Joan Riudavets
Joan Riudavets-Moll became the oldest man in the world in September 2003.

The second oldest person in the world currently is Fusa Tatsumi from Japan, who is also 115. 

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