- Full name: Maria Branyas Morera
- Lifespan: 04.03.1907
- Age: 116 years
- Birthplace: San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
- Last residence: Olot, Catalonia, Spain
- Application date: 19.08.2017
- Validation date: 28.06.2021
- Validation source: Rosa Moret Branyas/Nancy Branyas/Fabrizio Villatoro/Ilias Leivaditis/Miguel Quesada/Robert Young/Waclaw Jan Kroczek
Maria Branyas Morera was born in San Francisco, California, USA on March 4, 1907. Her family emigrated to San Francisco in 1906. They later traveled to New Orleans, from where they departed to Olot, Catalonia, Spain in 1915. While emigrating to Spain aboard the Catalania, Branyas Morera injured her eardrum in a fall, resulting in her permanently losing hearing in one ear. Towards the end of the voyage, Branyas Morera’s father, Joseph Branyas Julia, died from pulmonary tuberculosis at the age of 37, leaving Branyas Morera’s mother to raise the family of five on her own.
In 1931, Branyas Morera married her husband, Joan Moret. The couple had three children.
In 2000, when she was 93, Branyas Morera moved into a care home in Olot, where she currently resides. At the age of 110, she reportedly still read the newspaper every day. As of August 2019, she had 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Branyas Morera is deaf in one ear, and partially deaf in the other, with precautions taken at her nursing home. This made communication difficult, but using a voice-to-text device, her relatives are able to communicate fluently.
In May 2023, Branyas Morera was visited by Robert Young, Director for GRG Supercentenarian Research and Database Department, Natalie Coles, the wife of Dr. L. Stephen Coles, founder of the GRG, and Dr. Manel Esteller.
In April 2020, at the age of 113, Branyas Morera tested positive for COVID-19, but successfully recovered. She was the oldest recorded survivor of the disease until Lucile Randon, then 116, of France recovered in 2021. In a subsequent interview with the Observer, Branyas Morera called for a revolution in treatment of the elderly, saying “This pandemic has revealed that older people are the forgotten ones of our society. They fought their whole lives, sacrificed time and their dreams for today’s quality of life. They didn’t deserve to leave the world in this way.”
In January 2021, Branyas Morera received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, making her one of the oldest validated supercentenarians to get vaccinated.
On December 22, 2019, Branyas Morera assumed the title of the oldest known living person in Spain, a position she achieved following the passing of Josefa Santos Gonzalez. She subsequently became the last known living person in Spain born in 1907, after Virtudes Tomas Navarro’s passing on April 20, 2020.
Further solidifying her remarkable status, Branyas Morera also became the last known (validated) living person in Europe born in 1907 when Marie-Louise Berthelot passed away on January 16, 2021.
Adding to her accolades, aside from being the oldest living validated person in Spain, Branyas Morera holds the distinction of being the oldest person ever born in the U.S. state of California. Moreover, she is the oldest validated living emigrant in the world.
Branyas Morera continued to make history as she became the last person living in Spain born in the 1900s decade, following the passing of Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia on January 18, 2022.
In the global context, she became the oldest validated living American-born person after Thelma Sutcliffe’s passing on January 17, 2022. She also held the title of the oldest validated living person born in the Americas, succeeding Antonia da Santa Cruz, who passed away on January 23, 2022.
Her remarkable journey saw her rise to the position of the third-oldest validated living person in the world after the passing of Kane Tanaka on April 19, 2022. Subsequently, she ascended to the second-oldest validated living person in the world and continued to hold the title of the oldest validated living emigrant in the world following the death of Tekla Juniewicz on August 19, 2022.
In the United States, she became the last surviving validated American-born person born in 1907 after Bessie Hendricks passed away on January 3, 2023.
Her journey reached new heights as she became the oldest validated living person in Europe and the world, holding the distinction of being the last known surviving European person born before 1909, following the passing of Lucile Randon on January 17, 2023. She also claimed the title of the fourth-oldest validated European person ever.
On April 21, 2023, Branyas Morera surpassed Ana Vela-Rubio’s final age of 116 years and 47 days, becoming the oldest validated person ever to have resided in Spain. Notably, Vela-Rubio still retains the record for being the oldest validated person ever born in Spain.
Finally, on May 14, 2023, Branyas Morera reached a remarkable milestone by surpassing Tekla Juniewicz’s final age of 116 years and 70 days, solidifying her status as the oldest validated emigrant ever.
- WORLD’s OLDEST LIVING PERSON (17.01.2023 – )
- Oldest living person in Europe (17.01.2023 – )
- Doyenne of Spain (22.12.2019 – )
- Oldest emigrant
- Longevity recordholder for Spain (21.04.2023 – present)
The case of Maria Branyas Morera was verified by Rosa Moret Branyas, Nancy Branyas, Fabrizio Villatoro, Ilias Leivaditis, Miguel Quesada, Robert Young, and Waclaw Jan Kroczek, and validated by the GRG as of June 28, 2021.
Maria Branyas Morera at age 114.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 4, dressed in white) with her family in New Orleans in 1911.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 7) with her father Joseph Branyas Julia in 1914, and alongside her family in New Orleans (second from left).
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 15, on the right) at the Lake Banyoles in Catalonia, Spain, in 1922.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 18 in 1925)
Maria Branyas Morera with her mother and sister in 1928.
Maria Branyas Morera with her husband Joan Moret on their wedding day in 1931.
Maria Branyas Morera (second from right) with her family in Banyoles in 1931.
Maria Branyas Morera (second from left) spending vacation with her family in Platja de Torre Valentina in 1931.
Maria Branyas Morera spending vacation with her family in Platja de Torre Valentina in 1931.
Maria Branyas Morera visiting Bruges, Belgium, in 1979.
Maria Branyas Morera in 1980, visiting Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England.
Maria Branyas Morera visiting Vienna, Austria, in 1981.
Maria Branyas Morera visiting Luxor, Egypt in 1982.
Maria Branyas Morera in 1985, visiting Saint Petersburg (then known as Leningrad), Russia; Moscow, Russia; and Kyiv, Ukraine.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 87) playing the piano in 1994.
Maria Branyas Morera around her 90s.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 92) in November 1999.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 95) in March 2002.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 96) in 2003.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 98) playing the piano in December 2005.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 99) in 2006.
Maria Branyas Morera on her 109th birthday in 2016
Maria Branyas Morera on her 110th birthday in 2017.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 111) on 15 August 2018.
Maria Branyas Morera on her 112th birthday in 2019.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 112) in August 2019.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 112) in October 2019.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 113) during the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020.
Maria Branyas Morera on her 114th birthday in 2021.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 114) in May 2021.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 114) in July 2021.
Maria Branyas Morera on her 115th birthday.
Branyas Morera (aged 115) on August 15, 2022, with her daughter Maria Teresa Moret Branyas (aged 88).
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 115) in January 2023, after becoming the world’s oldest living person.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 115) on 25 January 2023, being visited by Miquel Noguer Planas, the mayor of Banyoles.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 115) on January 25, 2023, being honored at her nursing home by family members, staff, and Miquel Noguer Planas, the mayor of Banyoles.
Maria Branyas Morera on her 116th birthday in 2023.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 116) on 31 March 2023.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 116) on 1 April 2023, being visited by Pere Aragones, the President of the Government of Catalonia.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 116) on 17 May 2023, with Robert Young.
Maria Branyas Morera (aged 116) on August 16, 2023.
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Branyas Morera’s family, Robert Young, Natalie Coles, and Gerontology Wiki.