World's oldest woman dies in her sleep at 116 years old

MONROE, Ga. - It was a relaxing day for Besse Cooper, who died in her sleep Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Her family said the Monroe, Georgia, woman had suffered a stomach virus recently, and on Tuesday, she had trouble breathing and was put on oxygen.

Her son, Sydney Cooper, said, with her hair done, it looked like she was ready to go.

Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.

Cooper lived a full life. She was a teacher and her family said she was still able to read books at 111.

Sidney Cooper said his family will likely hold a funeral for his mother later this week.

The title of world's oldest person now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa, Young said. The oldest known person of all time was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived to be 122 years old and died in 1997.

Print this article Back to Top