Jeanne Calment was the oldest verified person in the world as of 2014, according to the New York Times. Calment died of natural causes at age 122 in 1997.
Calment's verified birth date was Feb. 21, 1875, in Arles, France. She was born the year before the telephone was invented and met Vincent Van Gogh at age 12 or 13. The New York Times states that longevity ran in Calment's family; her mother and father lived to be 86 and 93 years old respectively. Calment remained active until late in life, continuing to ride a bicycle until age 100 and remaining independent until age 110, when she moved into a nursing home.