Who is the World’s Oldest Person?
The world recently lost the “oldest person” known to still be alive.
Gertrude Baines, who famously lived on a steady diet of delicious foods (bacon fried in fat, fried chicken and ice cream among other foods) and clean living, died today at a nursing home where she had been for the last few years. She was 115 when she died peacefully in her sleep.
Baines was quoted when she turned 115 last year that she “enjoyed life so much she wouldn’t mind living another 100 years”. Emma Camanag, head administrator at Western Convalescent Hospital where Baines died, made the announcement this morning.
An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death, though it was likely the result of a heart attack, according to her doctor of many years, Dr. Charles Witt.
Friends and acquaintances, including her doctor, said she was very mentally alert, and could often be seen smiling and humming. She seemed to enjoy her long life.
Baines was born in 1894 in Shellman, Ga. the daughter of a former slave. She claimed the title of “the world’s oldest living person” earlier this year when a 115-year-old woman, Maria de Jesus, died in Portugal this past January.
The oldest person in the world is now Kama Chinen, aged 114, who lives in Japan. This information is tracked by Dr. L. Stephen Coles of the Gerontology Research Group. Chinen was born May 10, 1895 in Japan. The oldest person who has ever lived was Jeanne-Louise Calment a native of France. She was 122 when she died Aug. 4, 1997, in Arles, France.
The one thing Baines regretted was outliving her family — her entire family. Baines’ only daughter died of typhoid some time ago.
Baines worked her entire life as a maid at Ohio State University’s dormitories until her retirement more than 30 years ago.
Baines has been described as a modest woman who liked to watch the “Jerry Springer Show” and eat fatty foods. She refused to use dentures and says she never drank or smoked a day in her life.
Baines celebrated her birthday at the nursing home this past April 6 with a letter from President Obama, whom Baines famously voted for because “he’s for the colored people”. She said she never thought she would live to see a black man become president.