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Eugénie Blanchard (FRA (BLM), 1896-2010)

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Eugénie Blanchard spent much of her life as a nun and it appears most or all of her lifespan was spent on the islands of St Barthelmy and Curacao. She was validated with a birthdate of 16 February 1896.

By mid November 2009 she was recognised as the worlds 7th oldest person, but following the collapse of the 1895 cohort over a period of circa 5.5 months, she became the WOP on 2 May 2010.

By today's standards her age of 114 years 75 days at this date, was comparatively young, though there are numerous very similar examples of others achieving WOP status at similar ages, particularly in the 2007-2010 period.

That said, 114-75 is now the youngest in over 12 years and represents a record that may quite plausibly stand for a long time, IE The youngest WOP from 2010 onwards.

The latter stages of her life also coincided with a period where 13 supercentenarians (including Eugénie) reached 114 but did not go on to 115, between the lifespans of Gertrude Baines and Besse Cooper. 

She died at the age of 114 years and 261 days on 4 November 2010.

Though her age at accession and death are well below other WOP's both before and after her, she did hold two further individual records at the time of her passing.

1. The last known living person at the commencement of the modern Olympic Games  - in April 1896.

2. The oldest Ecclesiastical Person ever at the time of her death - albeit others have now exceeded her achievement.

In my opinion she typically had a lower profile than other WOP's both before and after, quite possibly because of her location, her health and perhaps also her religious vocation. But she retains some excellent longevity achievements almost 12 years after her death.

Rest in Peace Eugénie Blanchard (FRA 1896-2010).