Emma Tillman

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Emma Tillman
Emma Tillman, aged 114.jpg
Emma Tillman aged 114 with great-grand daughter Carol Stewart
Born (1892-11-22)November 22, 1892
Gibsonville, North Carolina, U.S.
Died January 28, 2007(2007-01-28)
(aged 114 years, 67 days)
East Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Baker, caterer
Title World's oldest person (January 24, 2007 until January 28, 2007)
Spouse(s) Arthur Tillman (married: 1914-1939 his death)

Emmaline "Emma" Fanchon Tillman, (née Faust; November 22, 1892 – January 28, 2007) was an American supercentenarian and, at age 114 years 67 days, the oldest validated living person from the death of 115 year old Puerto Rican man Emiliano Mercado del Toro on January 24, 2007 until her own death four days later. She was the last remaining documented person born in 1892.[citation needed]


Early life[edit]

Tillman, an African American, was born in Gibsonville, North Carolina, to former slaves on the Faust Plantation. Alphonso, Tillman's father, was the son of former slave Letha Faust of African descent and of plantation owner Cain Faust of German descent. Tillman's mother, Martha Gibson Faust, who was of Native American heritage, was reportedly also born into slavery.[citation needed] The family moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1900. Tillman ran her own baking and catering service whose regular customers included Dr. Thomas Hepburn, a noted Hartford Hospital urologist and father to actress Katharine Hepburn. She also served as a maid to Katharine Hepburn.[1]

Later life[edit]

By February 16, 2006, the passings of several older people (including Gladys Swetland, Bettie Wilson and Susie Gibson) had moved Tillman up to second-oldest in the 50 U.S. states, and she became the oldest following the December 2006 death of the then world's oldest person, 116-year-old Elizabeth Bolden. By then she was also among the 60 longest living people ever.[citation needed] On January 18, 2007, she became the oldest living woman following the death of 115-year-old Canadian Julie Winnefred Bertrand, and on January 24, 2007 the world's oldest living person with the death of another 115-year-old, Emiliano Mercado del Toro (a native of Puerto Rico).[citation needed]


Tillman resided at an assisted living center in East Hartford, Connecticut and died aged 114 years, 67 days at around 10:10PM EST[citation needed]. Tillman's successor was Yone Minagawa of Japan. Tillman is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery in Hartford. Tillman is ranked among the 100 oldest people ever.

Personal life[edit]


Emma Faust was one of 23 children born to former slaves in North Carolina, and one of only 15 who lived to adulthood. Many of Emma's siblings died at birth or in their early years, but four of Emma's siblings lived past age 100, including a sister, Ava Stewart (January 29, 1881 - March 1983), aged 102, and a brother, Eugene A. Faust (February 7, 1888 - September 1, 1996), aged 108. Another sister, aged 105, died in 2005, and yet another, aged 102, died in the 1980s.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


Preceded by
Emiliano Mercado del Toro
Oldest recognized living person
January 24, 2007 – January 28, 2007
Succeeded by
Yone Minagawa
Preceded by
Julie Winnefred Bertrand
Oldest recognized living woman
January 18, 2007 – January 28, 2007