A former nun, Blanchard was born in St. Barths of Merlet, France, on 16 February 1896. She is currently the oldest person ever from the island of Saint Barthélemy, which was legally a part of Guadeloupe, France, from 1878 to 2007, and is now part of an overseas collectivity of France.
Blanchard moved to Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles in 1929 at age 33, and became a nun there. Blanchard went back to St. Barths in 1956, when she was 60. She later moved to a retirement home in 1980, where she has been living since then.
Blanchard has been reported to enjoy the occasional glass of champagne now and then, especially after becoming the world's oldest person.
During her earlier life, Blanchard was nicknamed "Douchy" by the local children in her neighbourhood, as she used to give out sweets to the children and "douchy" means sweets or candy in Curaçao.
Blanchard has been almost blind and very, very weak since the age of 107, though for the rest, she is in physically good health.
Blanchard became the oldest person in France on 25 May 2008 at age 112, upon the death of Clémentine Solignac, who was aged 113 years, 261 days. Blanchard currently ranks as the 63rd oldest person ever and the 6th oldest French person ever.
On 2 May 2010, Kama Chinen died, at the age of 114 years, 357 days, and in the intervening period immediately after her death, Blanchard essentially became the new oldest living person. This was confirmed on 3 May, when she was found alive in her retirement centre. She was 114 years, 75 days old at the time of her succession, which is considered an extremely young age to be the World's Oldest Person. The last time this happened was in January 2007, when Yone Minagawa of Japan took the title at a mere 114 years, 25 days. (She later died in August 2007 at age 114 years, 221 days.)
4 November 2010 - I have just been informed that Eugénie Blanchard died in the early hours of the morning of 4 November 2010, finishing her life at 114 years, 261 days. The title of World's Oldest Living passes to Eunice Sanborn of Texas, US, at 114 years, 107 days. Sanborn, born 20 July 1896, is the second person born in 1896 to hold the title of world's oldest person.