A woman in the US who celebrated her 116th birthday on Monday has officially been recognised as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.
Guinness World Records has confirmed that Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York, born on July 6, 1899, is now the world’s oldest living person.
In addition to the early present from Guinness World Records, Jones is celebrating this milestone year with two birthday parties – an intimate gathering of family on Monday and a larger celebration with her housing community, friends and local officials in attendance on Tuesday.
Jones became the record holder at the age of 115 years and 346 days, as of June 17, 2015. Jones took the title of the world’s oldest living person from Jeralean Talley who died, just 26 days after her 116th birthday at her home in Inkster, a Detroit suburb, on June 17.
Asked for the secret of her longevity, Jones said “sleep!” While she has lost her eyesight and is hard of hearing, Jones is not bed-bound and only takes two medications a day.
Jones, known as ‘T’ to her 100 nieces and nephews, will also become the oldest living female, Guinness said. Jones was born in Lowndes County, Alabama, to Mary and Callie Mushatt. Her father was a sharecropper who picked cotton to support his wife and ten children.
In 1922, Jones left Alabama for New Jersey before moving to New York City in 1923, finding employment as a live-in housekeeper and childcare provider.