'World's oldest blogger' dies in Spain at 97

May 21, 2009
A Spanish great-grandmother who billed herself as the "world's oldest blogger" and who gained a global following on the Internet, died Thursday at the age of 97, local officials and reports said.

A Spanish great-grandmother who billed herself as the "world's oldest blogger" and who gained a global following on the Internet, died Thursday at the age of 97, local officials and reports said.

Maria Amelia Lopez, who was introduced to the world of blogging by one of her grandchildren, used a mix of humour and nostalgia to recall life during the long dictatorship of Francisco Franco and give her take on modern life.

"Today it?s my birthday and my grandson, who is very stingy, gave me a ," she wrote on her first post on amis95.blogspot.com on December 23, 2006.

Her blog quickly soared in popularity after the media reported on it, having seen more than 1.5 million hits, and it earned Lopez a meeting with Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who she openly supported.

In summer, Lopez would write from her seaside home in Muxia in northwestern Spain, where she was born in 1911; and from the Galician farmhouse where she lived with her grandson Daniel during the rest of the year.

Her posts touched on personal health problems, from trips to the doctor to bouts of dizziness, to her opinion on current events; from the violence of the Basque separatists to Iran's nuclear pretensions.

She blogged sporadically -- sometimes once a week, sometimes daily -- with the aid of her grandson because cataracts impaired her vision.

In recent months Lopez was increasingly posting video messages on her blog instead of written texts.

In one of her last posts made in February, she enthused about how the "Internet amazes me more and more" after her grandson Daniel introduced her to the social networking site Facebook.

She promptly set up a group on to defend old people's rights.

"One day soon I am going to die. All I am really scared of is losing my mind. In the meantime, I'll carry on," she said in an interview with Britain's The Guardian newspaper in September 2007.

(c) 2009 AFP

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