The world's oldest living person, Besse Cooper, died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home. She was 116 years old.
Cooper's son, 77-year-old Sidney, told the Associated Press that his mother died after becoming ill with a stomach virus the previous day. On Tuesday, Cooper was having trouble breathing and was put on an oxygen tank. Cooper said his mother died shortly later around 2 p.m. in the room in her Monroe, Ga., nursing home.
According to Robert Young, the Guinness World Records senior consultant for gerontology, the title of World's Oldest Person was passed down to Dina Manfredini, a 115-year-old living in Johnston, Iowa.
Cooper was first named the World's Oldest Person by Guinness in January 2011. In May last year, Cooper was stripped of her title when Guinness learned that a Brazilian woman named Maria Gomes Valentim was 48 days older than Cooper. However, Gomez Valentim died one month after gaining the title and passed it back to Cooper.
Cooper was born in Tennessee in 1896 before moving to Georgia to be a teacher during World War I. She married her husband Luther in 1924 and went on to have four children. Guinness reported she has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Back in August, Cooper celebrated her 116th birthday milestone, accompanied by a ribbon cutting ceremony for a completed bridge in her honor.
"The older she has gotten, the wittier she has gotten," her son Sidney told Guinness.
Cooper also shared her secrets to longevity, saying, "I mind my own business. And I don't eat junk food."
But Besse Cooper is not the world's oldest person ever. Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997, was a French woman who lived to be 122 years old.
Cooper was one of eight people recognized by Guinness World Records to have lived past 116 years old.