TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Georgia woman, world's oldest person, dies at 116

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 8:16 a.m.
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Two wild-card format hurting Pirates in short term
  2. Pitt men’s basketball adds junior-college guard
  3. Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
  4. Animal activists targeting Vick at Steelers preseason game
  5. Bryant suspension opens doors for other Steelers’ receivers
  6. Starkey: The kick returner and the grizzly bear
  7. Steelers notebook: LB Harrison believes Goodell will prevail in Brady ruling
  8. Honored Westmoreland youth counselor sought in theft of money from clients
  9. Pitt defense is entering new season with something to prove
  10. Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
  11. Potential suspension of Pennsylvania AG’s license unusual