The American woman listed as the oldest in the world has died.
According to The Associated Press, Besse Brown Cooper, 116, died Tuesday afternoon at Walton Regional Medical Center nursing facility in Monroe, Ga..
Reports indicate Cooper had been suffering the effects of stomach flu, but felt well enough Tuesday to get her hair set. She later had trouble breathing and was put on oxygen, but died at about 2 p.m., according to The Associated Press.
"With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go," her son Sydney Cooper told The Associated Press.
The Guinness Book of World Records declared Cooper the world’s oldest in January 2011. Shortly thereafter she had to give up the title when it was discovered that Brazilian-born Maria Gomes Valentim was 48 days older. However, on June 21, 2011 Maria died and Cooper got the “oldest” title back.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Cooper was born in Tennessee in 1896 and moved to Monroe during World War One in search of work as a teacher.
“She married her husband Luther in 1924, and they had four children. Today, she has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren,” Guinness published in August.
Her secret to seeing 116 years? "I mind my own business … and I don't eat junk food,” she told the Guinness Book of World Records.
In August, in celebration of Cooper's 116th birthday, a Georgia bridge was dedicated in her honor. Click on the attached video to view the event.
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