Susannah Mushatt Jones

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Susannah Mushatt Jones
Born Susannah Mushatt
(1899-07-06)July 6, 1899
(age 115 years, 324 days)
Lowndes County, Alabama
Residence Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Ethnicity African American
Known for Supercentenarian

Susannah Mushatt Jones (born July 6, 1899) is an American supercentenarian who is, at the age of 115 years, 324 days, the oldest living resident of New York,[1][2][3] the second oldest living American and is currently the world's second oldest living person (behind Jeralean Talley).[4] She has received tributes from the United States House of Representatives[5] and from the Alabama House of Representatives "for a remarkable lifetime of exceptional achievement lived during three centuries".[6]

Biography[edit]

Susannah Mushatt[6] was born in Lowndes County, Alabama on July 6, 1899,[3][7] the third oldest of 11 children.[8] Her parents were sharecroppers who farmed the same land as her grandparents (one an ex-slave). As a young woman, she worked in the fields but she was determined to escape that hard existence.[6] On March 4, 1922, she graduated from the Calhoun Boarding High School and the graduation roster recognized her for studying "Negro Music in France".[8] After graduation she wanted to become a teacher[8] and was accepted to Tuskegee Institute's Teacher's Program. However, her parents did not have enough money to pay for her college, so in 1923, she moved to New York during the early stages of the Harlem Renaissance.[6][1][9]

In 1928 she married Henry Jones but the marriage only lasted for five years, she divorced him later saying that she "didn't know what became of him,"[10] and she had no children. She worked for wealthy families taking care of their children for $7 a week.[11] During this time, she supported many of her relatives as they moved to New York.[1][8][12][13]

She also used some of her salary to establish The Calhoun Club, which was a college scholarship fund for African American students at her high school.[8] She was also active in her neighborhood for almost 30 years, participating in the "tenant patrol team".[8][11]

In 1965 she retired and lived with her niece Lavilla Watson and helped care for Watson's baby son.[8]

She resides at the Vandalia Senior Center in East New York, Brooklyn[3] and has more than 100 nieces and nephews.[12]

Health, diet, and lifestyle[edit]

She is blind, partially deaf, cannot say much, and uses a wheelchair.[1][12] She also does very little for her health.[8] She only takes high-blood pressure medication and a multivitamin.[7][8] She became blind from glaucoma when she was 100. She has refused cataract surgery and a recommended pacemaker. She has never had a mammogram or a colonoscopy,[12] but she does see a primary care physician three to four times a year.[8]

Jones has never smoked, drunk alcohol, partied, wore makeup, or dyed her hair,[12] and sleeps about 10-hours a day.[8] She also attributes not being married long for her longevity.[11]

Supercentenarian birthdays[edit]

Jones celebrated her 112th, 113th, 114th, and 115th birthdays at the Vandalia Senior Center in Brooklyn.[3][11][12][13] On her 112th birthday, she received tribute letters from the Mayor of New York City, and the governor of New York. When her birthday celebration ended she said "I wish it could be like this all the time."[3] On her 113th birthday, she was escorted by Charles Barron.[13] Jones celebrated her 114th birthday six days late. In addition to family and friends, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes praised her accomplishments.[12] On her 115th birthday, one of her nieces, Lois Judge, told WABC-TV that ""She gets tired easily these days, but it has been a good day today." She did not speak at the celebration. Her great great niece, a baby named Susannah after Jones, was also present.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Flengenheimer, Matt. "A Milestone in Brooklyn: 112 Birthdays". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Oldest New Yorker Honored at Vandalia Senior Center". New York City Department for the Aging. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bond, Michaelle (July 12, 2013). "Oldest Woman in New York Celebrates Birthday No. 114". New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Current Validated Living Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. 
  5. ^ Edolphus Towns. "A TRIBUTE TO SUSANNAH MUSHATT JONES ON HER 113TH BIRTHDAY -- HON. EDOLPHUS TOWNS (Extensions of Remarks - July 11, 2012)". Congressional Record 112th Congress (2011-2012). Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d Representative Jackson. "COMMENDING SUSANNAH MUSHATT JONES FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS.". The Alabama Legislature. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Associated Press (12 July 2013). "NY's oldest resident turns 114". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Waxman, Olivia B. (3 July 2014). "Long-Life Secrets From An (Almost) 115 Year Old Woman". Time. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Underwood, Khalea and Bill Hutchinson. "Susannah Mushatte Jones is the oldest person in New York City and still going strong at 113". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ "A Milestone in Brooklyn: 112 Birthdays". Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Parikh, Sapna (8 July 2014). "Brooklyn Woman 'Miss Susie' Celebrates 115th Birthday". WABC-TV. Retrieved 9 July 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Staff (12 July 2013). "Oldest Person In New York Celebrates 114th Birthday". WCBS-TV. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c Akhtar, Sam (19 July 2012). "113-Year-Old Celebrates Her Birthday At Vandalia Center". Canarsie Courier. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.