Besse Cooper, Supercentenarian, Turns 116

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 15:56 PM EDT, 29 August 2012

Besse Cooper, Oldest Woman in World, Photo by Waltonemc.comGEORGIA, United States – On Sunday, 27 August 2012, Besse Cooper, who is currently the world’s oldest person, celebrated her 116th birthday. She is the eighth person in the world to be verified by Guinness World Records as reaching this esteemed age.

Cooper was born in Tennessee in 1896, and has been certified by Guinness as the fourth oldest American supercentenarian. At her birthday celebration, according to MSNBC , Cooper was presented with “a plaque by Guinness World Records senior consultant of gerontology Robert Young during her birthday festivities at her nursing home in Monroe, Georgia.”

According to Guinness, Cooper is seven years shy of the 122 years lived by Jeanne Louis Calment, a French native who died on 4 August 1997. As expected, Cooper, who married in 1924 and had four children, is now, a grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-grandmother of numerous off-spring.

Every person is unique and there is no one secret to living a long and healthy life, but Cooper attributes it in part to “not eating junk food” and “minding my own business.” Most of the individuals who have been fully authenticated by Guinness as being the oldest people in the world, have primarily been women, which supports the empirical evidence that women live longer than men.

However, the oldest undisputed lifespan for a male supercentenarian is that of Christian Mortensen, who lived for 115 years and 252 days.  The oldest living man since the death of 114-year old Walter Breuning on 14 April 2011 is 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan. He was born on 19 April 1897.[Wikipedia]

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

One Comment on “Besse Cooper, Supercentenarian, Turns 116”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Happy 116th Birthday Besse, if anyone is interested in more information on these amazing people or other supercentenarians(people over 110
    years) we track all verified living supercentenarians at


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