Brooklyn Woman, Who Is Oldest in the World, Turns 116

Susannah Mushatt Jones

Brooklyn Woman, Who Is Oldest in the World, Turns 116

Born in 1899, Susannah Mushatt Jones turned 116 this month.

Published July 7, 2015

Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, has been declared the oldest person in the world by Guinness World Records. She is one of two living people in the world who were born in the 1800s.

The daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the granddaughter of a former slave, Jones lived in Alabama until she moved to New York at 24 years old. In Alabama, her father picked cotton to support his wife and 10 children.

While living in New York, she worked as a live-in housekeeper and childcare provider. Jones used the money earned to create a scholarship program for her former high school in Alabama.

Jones currently lives in a nursing home in East New York. She is blind, nearly deaf and doesn’t speak much. Yet, she is only taking two medications: one for high blood pressure and a multivitamin. When asked about her longevity, Jones has credited an abundance of sleep as well as not having a husband. Jones was briefly married from 1928 to 1933. She has no children. She is affectionately called “T,” which is short for auntie. She has more than 100 nieces and nephews.

In 2014, Jones’s niece, Dr. Lavilla Mushatt Watson, published a biography about her aunt’s life entitled Susannah – Our Incredible 114-Year-Old Aunt.

Last month, Jeralean Talley, who was previously the oldest woman in the world, died at 116.

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(Photo: Richard Drew/AP Photo)

Written by Isabelle Thenor-Louis


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