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Jeanne Calment, a woman from France, lived to become the oldest person on record at the age of 122. She later went on to pass away, but before she did, she met with Jean-Marie Robine, who is an expert in the field of longevity.

Robine explains that one major key is just chance, because of how exceptional it was that Calment lived so long. “We have to keep in mind that a big part of the longevity of Jeanne Calment is due to chance because it’s just so exceptional. ” Additionally, there were some key factors that Robine says contributed to Calment’s very long life.

1. She had wealth.

Calment did not grow up poor. On the contrary, she was born into a rich family in the South of France and grew up in a nice neighborhood. This gave her the advantage of going to school until she was 16, which was not typical during that time. She went on to take private classes in cuisine, art, and dance until she was married at 20 years of age. Robine also says that she never had to work, which was sure to benefit her.

2. She didn’t smoke until much later in life.

Calment was not allowed to smoke until she was married. Once married, her husband offered her a cigarette and she was not a fan, so she did not pick up the habit. However, later at age 112, she picked up the habit while living in a nursing home.

3. She had a great social life.

Calment led a very privileged life, one in which she didn’t have much to do, aside from taking care of herself and enjoying socializing. She was meeting new people all the time because people organized balls in her home. She and her husband spent a great time traveling to see the Eiffel Tower, “She was discovering this fascinating world at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century.”