Ga. woman certified as world's oldest

Besse Cooper, 114, sits in her wheelchair while daughter Angie Tharp, 82, left, and daughter-in-law Edith Cooper, 72, talk to her after a ceremony in which Guinness World Records recognized her as the word's oldest living person, at the nursing home where she lives, Thursday, March 10, 2011, in Monroe, Ga.

MONROE, Ga. — A Guinness World Records representative traveled to a Monroe nursing home to present 114-year-old Besse Cooper her official certificate for being the world's oldest living person.

Surrounded by family members, Cooper accepted a plaque during a small ceremony at the nursing home today.

Her son, 75-year-old Sid Cooper, was among a small group of relatives who were with Cooper at the quiet ceremony. Cooper said previously that relatives never imaged she would live to be the world's oldest person.

Earlier this year, Cooper became the oldest living person after the death of Eunice G. Sanborn of Texas, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. The group certifies supercentenarians — people who are 110 or older.

She was born in Tennessee on Aug. 26, 1896, during the second term of President Grover Cleveland.

 

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