Besse Cooper, the World’s Oldest Person, Celebrates Her 115th Birthday
We Have Done the Impossible and That Makes Us Mighty
This past Friday, the woman you see above, Besse Cooper, celebrated a very amazing milestone: her 115th birthday. She is not only the oldest person in the United States, but the oldest person in the world. Her age makes her one of just 23 people to earn the title of supercentarian, and we wish her many happy returns! After the jump, more information about Mrs. Cooper, her life, and her secrets to living so long.
You might recall that just this past June, Cooper took over the title of the world’s oldest person when the previous title-holder, Maria Gomes Valentim, passed away at the age of 114. She had been 48 days older than Cooper. And now, Cooper holds two certificates from the Guinness Book of World Records, verifying that she is the oldest person on the planet. Her son, Sidney Cooper, says that while she sleeps “80 percent of the time,” she is still sharp, understands what is going on around her, and has clear memories of her life. (She also “never worried.”)
That life started in 1896 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. She later moved to Georgia, where she became a schoolteacher before the start of World War I. In 1924, she married Luther Cooper and had four children. She has 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
She credits her longevity to the following: “I mind my own business … And I don’t eat junk food.”