Everything old is new again and in this case that means Besse Cooper has been re-crowned the oldest living person after being briefly dethroned this year.
Cooper is 114 years and 300 days old and was first named the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records in January. The Monroe, Ga. resident lost that distinction in May when Guinness determined that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older than she.
A Guinness spokeswoman confirmed that the title reverts to Cooper, because Valentin died on June 21 at age 114 years and 347 days.
Valentin, who would have turned 115 on July 8, credited her long lifespan to a breakfast of bread, coffee, fruit and occasionally milk with linseed.
Cooper, who lives in a nursing home, and her son Sidney could not be reached by AOL Weird News, but when she turned 113 she explained her longevity to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I mind my own business and I don’t eat junk food,” she told the newspaper.
It was President Grover Cleveland’s second term in office when she was born in Aug. 26, 1896 in Tennessee. There were 45 states in the country that year and the first modern Olympics took place that April in Greece.
During World War 1, she moved to Georgia where teaching salaries were higher. She married her husband Luther in 1924 with whom she had four children. She also has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, the Journal-Constitution reported.
There was a ceremony for Cooper at the Park Place Nursing Facility earlier this year when Guinness officials bestowed a plaque on her, but the nursing home administrator didn’t know if her family had told her that she was once again the oldest person alive.
“We have to go through the family,” said Ken Murray. “It’s sensitive.”