Carrie C. White

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Carrie C. White
Born Carrie C. Joyner
(1874-11-18)November 18, 1874 (claimed)
Died February 14, 1991(1991-02-14) (aged 116)

Carrie C. White, née Joyner (November 18, 1874? – February 14, 1991), was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world around the time she celebrated her alleged 114th birthday in 1988. She held that title until her death in 1991, supposedly at the age of 116. However, her date of birth is disputed.[1]

While a number of records give White's birthdate as November 18, 1874, none of these dates to before 1909, the year she was committed to the Florida State Hospital for the Insane by her husband, John White.[1] The official diagnosis was "post typhoid psychosis", though this is uncertain; her caretakers felt that she showed no signs of mental illness serious enough to warrant institutionalization.[2] If the 1874 date is correct, she would have been 35 years and one day old at the time. Abandoned by her family, White spent the next 75 years at the facility, until being moved to a nursing home in Palatka, Florida, in 1984. She remained there until she died in 1991.[1]

All records giving White's date of birth as November 18, 1874 date to after her hospital stay, and as such her date of birth is unconfirmed. A Census record exists for a Carrie Joyner born in Florida in 1873; if this were the same Carrie White she would have been 117 when she died, rather than 116.[3] The Social Security Administration found evidence of a Carrie Joyner born in August 1888 to John and Sallie Joyner. Researcher Heiner Maier suggests that this is a more likely match for the Carrie White who died in 1991; if so, she would have been 102 when she died. In this case Florida State Hospital may have simply made up the 1874 date, and later records replicated the error.[4] However, the lack of information on White's early life means that her true date of birth cannot be confirmed unequivocally.[4]

Since 2012, her claim has been considered invalid.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. p. 274. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ Margo Harakas (November 18, 1990). "The Mysterious Life Of The Oldest Human". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. p. 275. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. pp. 275–276. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ Table C5, as of September 17, 2012 Gerontology Research Group

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Florence Knapp
Oldest recognized living person
January 11, 1988 – February 14, 1991
Succeeded by
Jeanne Calment