Maria de Jesus dos Santos (10 September 1893 – 2 January 2009)[1] was a Portuguese supercentenarian who was the world's oldest verified living person for 37 days, until her death at 115 years 114 days. She assumed this status after the 26 November 2008 death of American Edna Parker, who was 115 years 220 days old. On 25 January 2007, aged 113 years 137 days, she moved into the top 100 verified oldest people ever. The following year, on 11 June 2008, at age 114 years 275 days, she surpassed Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes as the oldest verified Portuguese person ever.

At the time of her death, de Jesus was listed as the 20th oldest verified person ever. She was the only verified person born in 1893 to live into 2009, achieving this by a mere 2 days.


Born as Maria de Jesus, she married José dos Santos in 1919 and became a widow in 1951 (when she was 57 years old); however, as is common in Portugal, Maria de Jesus did not use her husband's last name. From that relationship five children were born, only three of whom are still living. One of those, a daughter, Madalena, was born on 25 December 1924, and lived with her mother. Jesus also left 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 6-great-great-grandchildren. [1] During her lifetime, she visited the hospital only once and was reportedly a healthy person, with the exception of her mobility, which deteriorated over her last years. Jesus worked on the land for her entire life and lived in her own house instead of a nursing home (like the majority of supercentenarians). Jesus remained fairly responsive until her last days; she was able to smile and wave to visitors. However, she could no longer recognize her family, because of serious problems with her sight and hearing. She could, however, still walk around with the aid of a walker. For activities, Jesus enjoyed looking through her old family albums, sunbathing at her porch, eating Portuguese rice pudding and ice cream, as well as taking baths. Reportedly, she never smoked nor drank alcohol nor coffee. Jesus liked eating vegetables but avoided eating meat, though she did eat fish.[2] Although Edna Parker was the oldest person born in 1893, Maria De Jesus was the last verified person born in 1893 to die.


Maria de Jesus died on 2 January 2009.[3] The cause of death was reported as septic shock.Template:Citation needed Her death left 114-year-old American Gertrude Baines as the oldest living person.[4]

She was picked by (not much) of the Derby Dead Pool. Her only joker was "Die, Die, Die, My Darling".

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Preceded by
Edna Parker
Oldest recognized living person
26 November 2008 – 2 January 2009
Succeeded by
Gertrude Baines
Preceded by
Camille Loiseau
Oldest person in Europe
12 August 2006 – 2 January 2009
Succeeded by
Manuela Fernández-Fojaco
Preceded by
Maria do Couto Maia-Lopes
Oldest recognized living person in Portugal
25 July 2005 – 2 January 2009
Succeeded by
Augusto Moreira de Oliveira

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