21 October 1904Cascavel, Ceara, Brazil


5 October 2021Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil



Francisca Celsa dos Santos

Francisca Celsa dos Santos was a Brazilian supercentenarian who, at the time of her death, was the third-oldest living person in the world after Kane Tanaka and Lucile Randon. She is the longest-lived South American person on record, surpassing María Capovilla of Ecuador just one day before her death.

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Francisca Celsa dos Santos was born to Raimundo Gertrudes dos Santos and Maria Antonia do Espirito Santo in Cascavel, Ceara, Brazil. She claimed to have been born on 22 October 1904, but research suggests she was actually born one day earlier.

Celsa dos Santos worked in household chores and then later became a merchant selling lace cloths. At some point before 1935, she married Raimundo Celso (1905–1979). They had six children, three of whom were still living as of 2020. Before the birth of their last child, the couple went to the civil registry office in Pacajus, Ceara to get officially married.

Shortly after her husband’s death on 4 September 1979, Celsa dos Santos moved to live with her daughter in Messejana, a neighborhood in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. At the age of 85, Celsa dos Santos was diagnosed with a malignant tumor. According to her daughter, the doctors did not expect her to survive, so the family took her out of the hospital and decided to treat her with home remedies. Despite the odds, she successfully recovered.

Since 2012, Celsa dos Santos had not been able to walk. As of November 2019, she was cared for by one of her three daughters, Nazete Monteiro (then aged 73), and her granddaughter Fransilvia. She reportedly did not take any medication and rarely got sick but was not very lucid. Her health was monitored by her grandson, Dr. Luziney Monteiro.

Francisca Celsa dos Santos died from pneumonia on 5 October 2021 in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil at the age of 116 years, 349 days.

Following Celsa dos Santos’ death, Antonia da Santa Cruz became the oldest validated living person in Brazil, as well as the third-oldest living validated person in the world.

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Celsa dos Santos was the last known validated person from the Americas who was born in 1904 and was also the second to last surviving validated person born in 1904. After her death, Lucile Randon became the last surviving validated person born in 1904.

Celsa dos Santos had been the oldest validated living person in Brazil and South America following the death of Luzia Mohrs on 16 October 2017. On 4 October 2021, Celsa dos Santos surpassed the final age of María Capovilla becoming the oldest validated South American person ever.

One day later, on 5 October 2021, Francisca Celsa dos Santos died at the age of 116 years, 349 days, just 16 days short of her 117th birthday. She was the oldest known validated person to die in 2021 and was also the oldest known validated person to die in the 2020s decade at the time of her death. She was the oldest validated person to die since the death of Chiyo Miyako on 22 July 2018 and is currently also the oldest person on record to not become the world’s oldest person, or even the world’s second-oldest person, due to Kane Tanaka and Lucile Randon.