Besse Cooper

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Besse Cooper
Born Besse Berry Brown
August 26, 1896
Sullivan County, Tennessee, U.S.
Died December 4, 2012
(aged 116 years, 100 days)[1][2][3]
Monroe, Georgia, U.S.
Alma mater East Tennessee State Normal School (graduated 1916)
Occupation Teacher
Known for Oldest living person
Spouse(s) Luther Harris Cooper
(1895–1963)
(m. 1924–w. 1963)
Parents Richard Brown and Angeline Berry
Relatives 4 children
11 grandchildren
13 great-grandchildren
2 great-great-grandchildren (as of 2012)[4]
Website
http://www.bessebrowncooper.org

Besse Berry Cooper (née Brown; August 26, 1896 – December 4, 2012)[1][3] was an American supercentenarian who was the world's oldest living person from June 21, 2011, until her death. She was, at the time of her death, the eighth oldest verified person ever and one of only eight people verified to have lived to the age of 116.[5]

Biography[edit]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Cooper was born Besse Berry Brown in Sullivan County, Tennessee, on August 26, 1896, the third of eight children born to Richard Brown (1861–1932) and Angeline Berry (1866–1927).[6] As a child, she was a keen scholar who read constantly.[7] She graduated from East Tennessee State Normal School (now East Tennessee State University) in 1916, and worked as a schoolteacher in Tennessee before moving to Georgia around the time of the American entry into World War I in 1917.[8] She taught in Between, Georgia, until 1929.

Later life[edit]

She married Luther Cooper (1895–1963) in 1924, and had four children with him – Angeline (b. 1929), Luther, Jr., (b. 1932), Sidney (b. 1935), and Nancy (b. 1944). Luther died aged 68 in December 1963. Following her husband's death, Cooper lived alone on their farm until 2001, when she moved into a nursing home at the age of 105.[9][10] She spent her final years in Monroe, Georgia.[11] Cooper died of respiratory failure on December 4, 2012, following a battle with stomach flu.[12]

Longevity[edit]

Cooper became Georgia's oldest resident on January 19, 2009, following the death of 113-year-old Beatrice Farve.[9] Cooper was additionally the second-oldest verified person from Tennessee, after Elizabeth Bolden, who died in December 2006 at age 116 years and 118 days. Cooper reputedly attributed her longevity to "minding her own business" and avoiding junk food.[13]

At the time of her 116th birthday in August 2012, Cooper had four children, 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.[4][14] In July 2012, a proposal was advanced to name a Georgia bridge in Cooper's honor; a bridge in Between was named Besse Brown Cooper Bridge on August 24, 2012.[5][15][16][17]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "World's oldest woman dies". Walton Tribune. December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "World's Oldest Woman Dies at 116". Loganville-Grayson Patch. December 4, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "World's 'oldest person' Besse Cooper dies aged 116". BBC. December 5, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Milligan, Stephen (August 29, 2012). "Cooper continues to make history". Walton Tribune. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Swanepoel, Sharon (August 26, 2012). "Sweet 116th Birthday Wishes to the World's Oldest Living Person". Loganville-Grayson Patch. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (March 9, 2010). "Oldest American dies". Chicago Tribune. p. 3. 
  7. ^ Dennis, Joe (August 29, 2004). "Cooper marks 108th birthday". Walton Tribune. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ Brooks, James (February 1, 2011). "World's oldest person is a graduate of what is now ETSU". Johnson City Press. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Milligan, Stephen (August 26, 2007). "At 111, she’s second oldest in Georgia". Walton Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Birthday kiss for a centenarian". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. August 27, 2009. p. B1. 
  11. ^ "Governor visits Besse". Walton Tribune. March 30, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  12. ^ "Besse Cooper, World's Oldest Person, Dies at Age 116". TIME. December 5, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "A look back at 2011". Walton Tribune. January 1, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  14. ^ Schwartz, Robbie (August 22, 2012). "Bridge naming for World's oldest person". Walton Tribune. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Effort to name bridge for Besse Cooper". Walton Tribune. July 1, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Dedication of Besse Cooper Bridge Scheduled for Friday". Loganville-Grayson Patch. August 23, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bridge dedicated to world's oldest person". Walton Tribune. August 24, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
Preceded by
Maria Gomes Valentim
Oldest recognized living person
June 21, 2011 – December 4, 2012
Succeeded by
Dina Manfredini
Preceded by
Eunice Sanborn
Oldest recognized living person in the United States
January 31, 2011 – December 4, 2012
Preceded by
Eunice Sanborn
Oldest living person who was born in the United States
January 31, 2011 – December 4, 2012
Succeeded by
Mamie Rearden