World's oldest person dies at 116

Ms Susannah Jones was born in 1899 and attributed her long life to lots of sleep.
Ms Susannah Jones was born in 1899 and attributed her long life to lots of sleep.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • The world's oldest living person, 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones, has died in New York City, a research group said.

Ms Jones' death on Thursday makes Ms Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, a 116-year-old woman in Italy, the oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Ms Jones, who was born in the southern state of Alabama in the United States in 1899, was the third of 11 children born to sharecroppers and the granddaughter of slaves.

After graduating from high school, she moved north in 1922 to New Jersey and then New York, where she worked as a housekeeper and childcare provider, according to Guinness World Records and the Vandalia Senior Centre in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where she lived.

Ms Jones, who retired in 1965, had said that lots of sleep was the secret to her longevity and that she had never smoked or drunk alcohol.

She had lost her eyesight and was having difficulties in hearing.

Ms Jones never had children, but had more than 100 nieces and nephews. Last July, she celebrated her 116th birthday.

The oldest verified person was Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at 122 years and 164 days, the research group said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2016, with the headline 'World's oldest person dies at 116'. Print Edition | Subscribe