Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievement, can today confirm that Ms. Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, New York is now the world’s oldest living person, who today celebrates her 116th birthday!
Born on July 6, 1899, Ms. Jones became the record holder at the age of 115 years and 346 days, as of June 17, 2015.
Asked for the secret of her longevity, she noted “sleep!” While she’s lost her eyesight and is hard of hearing, Jones isn’t bed-bound and only takes two medications a day.
Ms. Jones, known as “T” (short for auntie) to her 100 nieces and nephews, will also become the oldest living female.
In addition to the early present from Guinness World Records, Ms. Jones (pictured here with Guinness World Records adjudicator Kimberly Patrick) will celebrate this milestone year with two birthday parties – an intimate gathering of family on the 6th and a larger celebration with her housing community, friends and local officials in attendance, the following day.
The oldest person ever to have lived is also female, Jeanne Calment (France) who lived to 122 years and 164 days.
When Susannah was 106 years old, The New York City Housing Authority paid tribute to her regular particpation in community tenant patrols in her neighbourhood and she received a congratulatory tribute from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg who wished her “good health and great happiness.”
At this time, Susannah told the Housing Authority: “I never drink or smoke. I surround myself with love and positive energy. That’s the key to long life and happiness.”
Susannah was born Susie Mushatt in Lowndes County, Alabama, to Mary and Callie Mushatt. Her father was a sharecropper who picked cotton to support his wife and ten children. In 1922, Ms. Jones left Alabama for New Jersey before moving to New York City in 1923, finding employment as a live-in housekeeper and childcare provider.
In 2014, Susannah's niece Dr Lavilla Mushatt Watson published a biography about her beloved aunt's life entitled 'Susannah - Our Incredible 114-Year-Old Aunt'.
See below for a video report from NBC New York marking her 115th birthday in 2014.