by futurist Kit Worzel
Jeanne Calment of France was born in 1875, and died in 1997, at the age of 122, the oldest verifiable age for a human being. She was alive for the Boer war, the establishment of the Nobel Prize, the founding of the National Geographic society, both World Wars, the emergence of women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, both the rise and the fall of the Iron Curtain, and even lived long enough to see Tiger Woods win his first Masters tourney. She lived longer than anyone else for whom we have records, and did most of it without the benefits of modern medicine. Life expectancy when she was born was just over 45, so she managed to live almost three times as long as she was expected to. It was truly remarkable, a unique circumstance.