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World's oldest person, 116, dies

Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:45 PM

MONROE, Ga., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper of Monroe, Ga., died Tuesday at 116, her son said.

Sidney Cooper said his mother "had a long, good life. She went very easy," CNN reported.

She was born in Tennessee on Aug. 26, 1896. She was proclaimed the oldest living human by Guinness World Records in January 2011 but was demoted for several months that year when a Brazilian woman was verified to be 48 days older. That woman, Maria Gomes Valentim, died in June 2011, shortly before her 115th birthday.

CNN said Cooper, once asked how she lived so long, replied: "I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food."

According to the Gerontology Research Group, the world's oldest living person is now Dina Manfredini, 115, of Johnston, Iowa, who was born April 4, 1897, in Pievepelago, Italy.

Wikipedia says she is the oldest of the last three verified living people born in 1897, along with Jiroemon Kimura and Koto Okubo, both of Japan.

Only eight people have ever been documented to have lived to age 116, CNN said.

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