How the World’s Oldest Person Spent Her Last Day

From silent films to Blu-Ray players, Kitty Hawk to the Mars Rover missions, two World Wars and the literal invention of sliced bread—Besse Cooper was alive for them all.

Cooper, declared the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records in January 2011, died yesterday at the age of 116 in a Georgia nursing home, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

On the day of her passing, Cooper got her hair done and was getting a jump start on the holiday season by watching a Christmas movie.

She began to have difficulty breathing and was put on oxygen in her room, where she later died, according to her son, Sidney Cooper. He told the AP that his mother’s passing was peaceful, and that she, “looked ready to go.”

Iowan, Dina Manfredini, inherits Cooper’s crown of world’s oldest living person. She is currently 115.

Keep reading to uncover longevity secrets from the world’s healthiest elders.


The Secret to a Long Life? It’s Not What You Think
More People Living to 90 and Beyond: How Will We Care for Them?
Growing Your Aging Parent’s Wealth During Their Golden Years

How the World’s Oldest Person Spent Her Last Day originally appeared on

Image credit to: Jessica McGowan/Guinness World Records

Secrets of super-centenarians

Both Cooper and Manfredini reached impressive ages, but the all-time longevity record is held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Clement. Prior to her death at age 122, Clement was the first person ever documented to have topped 120 years of age.

According to the Houston Chronicle, when asked to divulge the secrets of her lengthy life, Clement was famous for replying, “God must have forgotten me.”

French legends have her riding a bicycle up until she officially earned her centenarian status, using olive oil liberally (both on her food and her skin), and consuming several pounds of chocolate per week.

Whatever their secrets, the longevity and relatively good quality of life of these women inspires awe in aging experts and the general public alike.

Discover what science has to say about the secrets of leading a long, healthy life.

Can a Website Tell You How Long You Have to Live?
Europeans Now Living Longer Than Americans
What Are the Most Common Issues of Aging?

By Anne-Marie Botek,

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Ana Passos
Past Member 2 years ago

I have a good start since I'm a woman. :p

Mary L.
Mary L.2 years ago

May she rest in peace.

Vicky H.
Past Member 2 years ago

God bless her heart!

Penny C.
Penny C.2 years ago

What a sweetie.

Gail G.
Gail G.2 years ago

Sounds to me like if you live the kind of life you love, you will alwayshave beautiful scenery, pleasan things to do, day schedules you can become happy with, just leaving all sorts of room to let the beautiy of life decorate your day. :Like the 115-yr-old lady, she had her hair fixed that day and was waching a moviewhenshe passed, and I'm now siting here thininking I need to have soeone do my hair giv me a massage. I'm sick ight now, tho, butI'lllook forwardtoit soon.

Sarah Lee
Sarah Lee2 years ago

I dont wanna live that long. I dont know what to do. I dont think I can continue running around puppies after im 70.

Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni2 years ago

It doesn't pay to become the oldest person in the world. You can see where it gets you...

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

thank you

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U.2 years ago

RIP - thank you !

Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Smith2 years ago