Oldest person living: Besse Cooper set world record (Video) MONROE, GA, USA -- Besse Cooper, who lives in a Monroe nursing home, turned 115 Friday - setting the new world record for the Oldest person living (female), according to World Record Academy (www.worldrecordacademy.com).
Photo: Besse Cooper, who is listed as the world's oldest person, marks her 115th birthday. Photo: AP (enlarge photo)
The previous Guinness world record for the oldest person living was set by Maria Gomes Valentim (Brazil), of Carangola, Brazil, who was 114 years 313 days old as of 18 May 2011.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the oldest living man, set by Jiroemon Kimura (Japan), who was born 19 April 1897 and celebrated his 114th birthday in 2011.
Born in Tennessee in 1896, Besse Cooper moved to Georgia during World War I. She married her husband Luther in 1924, and they had four children. Today, she has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren.
Besse Cooper, who lives in a Monroe nursing home, was certified as the world's oldest person in January, but the title was taken away in May when Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was found to be 48 days older, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.
Cooper got the title back after Valentin died June 21.
Her son, Sydney Cooper, 76, said a small party was planned at the nursing home.
"She still remembers things and thinks clearly and talks," Sydney Cooper said. "But she has her good days and her bad days. I'd say she sleeps about 80 percent of the time."
Cooper said he is unsure if his mother comprehends the fact that she is the world's oldest living person. "If she does, she might not retain it," he said.
On the secret to her long life, she said: "I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food."