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World's oldest person dies at 116 in New York

She was the last known American alive in the 19th century.

By
Ed Adamczyk

NEW YORK, May 13 (UPI) -- The world's oldest person at 116 years and 311 days, Susannah Mushatt Jones, has died at her senior housing facility in New York.

Jones, known as "Miss Susie," died Thursday at Brooklyn's Vandalia Avenue Houses. Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group said she had been ill for the past 10 days.

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Born in Montgomery, Ala., she was the last known American to have been alive in the 19th century. The oldest person on earth is now Emma Morano-Martinuzzi of Verbania, Italy, born several months after Jones in 1899.

Jones had 10 brothers and sisters and attended a school for black girls in Alabama, graduating from high school in 1922. After picking crops for a year, she worked as a nanny and eventually settled in New Jersey, and then New York, where she helped establish a scholarship for college-bound African-American women. She was also active in the tenant patrol of her housing facility, where she lived for 30 years, until she was 106. Although married for several years, she had no children but died with more than 100 nieces and nephews.

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She credited her long life to getting enough sleep and refraining from smoking and drinking, although she admitted a fondness for bacon. At a 115th birthday party in 2015, family members mentioned her love of family and generosity to others.

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