Carrie C. White
|Carrie C. White|
|Born||Carrie C. Joyner
Havana, Gadsden County, Florida
|Died||February 14, 1991 (aged 102 years)
|Known for||longevity claimant|
Carrie C. White (née Joyner; August 1888 – February 14, 1991) was an American woman whom Guinness World Records recognized as the oldest person in the world in 1988, the year she allegedly turned 114. This claim was based on documents from the Florida State Hospital, where she was institutionalized from 1909 to 1984, that listed her birthdate as November 18, 1874. White officially held the Guinness title as oldest person until her death in 1991, supposedly at the age of 116. However, the hospital's records were later disputed and eventually revealed to be an error, with White's true birthdate apparently being in August 1888.
Life and longevity claim
While a number of records give White's birth date 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 E. White. 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. 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, in 1984. She remained there until she died on February 14, 1991.
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. The Social Security Administration found evidence of a Carrie Joyner born in August 1888 to John and Sallie Joyner, based on mentions in newspapers of her having a sibling named Marie Harden (a Marie Joyner Harden had parents named John and Sallie and a sibling named Carrie). 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. However, the lack of information on White's early life means that her true date of birth cannot be confirmed unequivocally.
In 2012, Guinness World Records withdrew support for the longevity claim.
- Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. p. 274. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Margo Harakas (November 18, 1990). "The Mysterious Life Of The Oldest Human". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. p. 275. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Maier, Heiner (2010). Supercentenarians. Springer. pp. 275–276. ISBN 9783642115196. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Table C5, as of September 17, 2012 Gerontology Research Group