Maria Esther de Capovilla, a 116-year-old woman believed to have been the world’s oldest person, has died in her native Ecuador, her granddaughter said Monday. Her successor is likely a woman from Tennessee.
Capovilla died early Sunday in a hospital in the coastal city of Guayaquil, said Catherine Capovilla, a property manager and real estate agent in Miami. A funeral was planned for Monday.
Capovilla died two days after coming down with pneumonia.
Born on Sept. 14, 1889 — the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler — Capovilla was married in 1917 and widowed in 1949.
Robert Young, a senior consultant on gerontology for Guinness World Records, said Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tenn., now appears to be the oldest person alive. She is also 116, but was born 11 months after Capovilla.