NEW YORK – Susannah Mushatt Jones, the American woman known as the oldest person in the world, has died at a geriatric center in New York, local media reported. She was 116 years and 311 days old.
“Miss Susie,” as she was known by friends and family, had been the last surviving American born in the 19th century, the U.S. Gerontology Research Group said after verifying her date of birth as July 6, 1899.
Jones became the longest-lived person in the world in June last year, when another American, Jeralean Talley, died at the age of 116 years and 25 days, and now the list is headed by an Italian, Emma Morano.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, Morano was born on Nov. 29, 1899 in the Piedmont municipality of Civiasco in northern Italy to a generally long-lived family, with her mother and an aunt living more than 90 years and a sister who reached 100.
“Miss Susie,” meanwhile, had lived more than 30 years in an eldercare center in Brooklyn, where she passed away Thursday night, 10 days after she became ill, the NBC television network reported.
Born on a farm outside Montgomery, Alabama, Jones moved to New Jersey in 1922 and a year later to New York City, where she earned her living as a housekeeper and babysitter.
“Miss Susie” had 10 siblings, all now passed away, and scores of nieces and nephews, including Lois Judge, who died last year and who always said her aunt’s secret for living so long was that she never smoked or drank alcohol and was apparently not very fond of going to parties.
With the death of “Miss Susie,” the oldest person in the United States is now Goldie Michelson, a woman of 113 years, who was born in Russia on Aug. 8, 1902, and lived in the state of Massachusetts.