Georgia woman, world's oldest person, dies at 116
MONROE, Ga. — The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.
Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper. Monroe is about 45 miles east of Atlanta.
Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. She was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said.
“With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go,” he said.
Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.
“It's a sad day for me,” said Robert Young, Guinness senior consultant for gerontology. He recalls meeting Cooper when she was 111 and took note of her mental agility.
“At that age she was doing really well, she was able to read books,” he said.
Last year on Cooper's 115th birthday, she celebrated with friends and relatives, enjoyed two small slivers of birthday cake and was serenaded by a musician from Nashville who sang “Tennessee Waltz.”
Sidney Cooper said his family will likely hold a funeral for his mother later this week.
Besse Cooper was the first Georgian to hold the world record. She was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to look for work as a teacher.
The title of world's oldest person now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa, Young said. The oldest known person of all time was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to be 122 years old and died in 1997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Fox Chapel grad VIllani performing magic for Wizards
- Week 12 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- University of Pittsburgh researchers revisit war of electric currents
- Family of man accused of shooting St. Clair officer say allegations don’t fit his character