The World's Oldest Person Turns 115

To be 115 when the best life expectancy rates in history hover around 78 (for a person born in 2009!) is no small feat. Besse Cooper, currently the world's oldest person, just celebrated her 115th birthday in Georgia state. It was a smallish affair, with about 15-20 friends and family.

Her daughter-in-law Edith Cooper said the group gathered at a Monroe nursing home, where Besse Cooper enjoyed two small slivers of her birthday cake and nodded with approval as musician Mike Cronic sang "Tennessee Waltz."

Cooper was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to find work as a teacher. She has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband, Luther, died in 1963.

Cooper was declared the world's oldest in January. In May, Guinness learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died June 21.

Link|Image: AP Photo/David Goldman

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