14 May 2016
The world’s oldest living woman, Susannah Mushatt Jones has died at the age of 116 in New York.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that she lived in three centuries, through two world wars and 20 US presidencies.
In an interview with Time Magazine last year, she admitted to eating four strips of bacon with scrambled egg every day. Her favourite luxury was buying high-end lace lingerie, her family said. She reportedly once told nurses during a medical check-up: “You can never get too old to wear fancy stuff.”
Susannah Mushatt Jones, the oldest woman in the world has died. Born in an Alabama farm in July 1899, Susannah Mushatt Jones was also the last living American born in the 19th Century. She was born to Callie and Mary Mushatt on July 6, 1899, in Lowndes County, Alabama. She was the third child and oldest daughter of eleven children. Her parents were African American sharecroppers who farmed the same land as her grandparents. Her grandmother, an ex-slave, reportedly lived for 117 years based on census data. According to her family, she also had some Native American ancestry. As a young woman, she worked in the fields and was determined to escape that hard existence. On March 4, 1922, she graduated from the Calhoun Boarding High School and the graduation roster recognized her for studying “Negro Music in France”. After graduation, she wanted to become a teacher and was accepted to Tuskegee Institute’s Teacher’s Program. Her parents could not afford tuition, so in 1923, she moved to New York during the early stages of the Harlem Renaissance.
As one of the last few remaining human links with the 19th Century, Ms. Jones has lived through more history than anyone else in the world. The year of her birth, 1899, for instance, marks the kind of historical event most people only know from history books: The start of the Second Boer War in South Africa, the beginning of the war between the US and the Philippines and the invention of aspirin. She was also born before the death of Queen Victoria in Britain, before Marconi sent the first ever wireless transmission, and before the Wright Brothers flew the first aircraft. Ms. Jones always maintained that lots of sleep and no smoking or drinking were the main reasons she lived to celebrate her 116th birthday last year.
Ms. Jones remained active until the end of her life, serving as a member of the tenant patrol of her nursing home until she was 106.
The Gerontology Research Group (which verifies and tracks the most elderly people in the world) says that now, Emma Morano of Italy is the world’s oldest living person — and, the last person alive to have been born before 1900. Emma Morano, now takes on the title of oldest person in the world, and is thought to be the last living person to have been born in the 1890s.
From Associated Press, we got to know that Morano met the news “with a smile” after she woke from a nap to find assembled journalists, relatives and friends in Verbania, Italy.