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Lessie Brown, oldest person in U.S., dies at 114

By Allen Cone

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Lessie Brown, believed to be the oldest person in the United States, died Tuesday in Ohio, family members said. She was 114.

Brown's daugther, Verline Wilson, told Cleveland.com she died at approximately 10:45 a.m. in her home in Cleveland Heights. Emmanuel Baptist Church, which is handling the funeral arrangements for Brown, confirmed her death, WJW-TV reported.

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She turned 114 in September and became the oldest person in the United States in March after the death of a Pennsylvania woman who was 114, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

On Dec. 27, Richard Overton, the oldest man in the United States and oldest World War II veteran, died in Austin, Texas.

Brown was born Sept. 22, 1904, in Atlanta and moved to northeast Ohio at 18.

She had five children with her husband. Family members estimate she has more than 50 descendants, including two great-great-great-grandchildren.

During her 114th birthday celebration, one of her granddaughters told reporters her longevity can be attributed to "sweet potatoes and her faith in God."

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The oldest living person in the United States now is Alelia Murphy of New York, who is 113 years and 186 days old, according to the Gerontology Research Group. The oldest person in the world is 116-year-old Kana Tanaka of Japan.

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