Maria Branyas.

Supercentenarian Spanish woman becomes oldest living person in the world

115-year-old Maria Branyas even has her own Twitter account - Super Àvia Catalana (Super Catalan Grandmother)

ÁLVARO SOTO

Spain's Maria Branyas, at 115 years old, is now the world's oldest living person. Branyas takes the top position on the Gerontology Research Group's list after Frenchwoman Lucile Randon, 118, a nun known as Sister André, died on Tuesday.

Maria Branyas was born on 4 March 1907 in San Francisco, the daughter of a Catalan woman and a journalist from Navarre, who edited the magazine Mercurio in the American city after having spent time in Mexico. At the age of seven, her family returned to Catalonia. She married Joan Moret, a doctor from Llagostera, Gerona, in Catalonia in 1931. The couple had three children, one of whom is now deceased, and Branyas now has eleven grandchildren – the eldest of whom is aged 62 – and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Twitter account

For two decades, Maria Branyas has lived in the Santa María del Tura Residence in Olot, and from there, her day-to-day life is broadcast around the world thanks to the Twitter account Super Àvia Catalana (Super Catalan Grandmother). In 2020 Branyas made headlines for overcoming Covid-19 at the age of 113, a world record that was only surpassed later by Randon.

The ranking of the world's longest-lived is managed by the Gerontology Research Group at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), which was founded in 1990 and is associated with the Guinness World Records. Behind Branyas is now Japan's Fusa Tatsumi, who is also 115 years old, but is a few days younger than the Catalan grandmother.