Gertrude Baines at her 115th birthday party in Los Angeles
|Born||April 6, 1894
Shellman, Georgia, United States
|Died||September 11, 2009
(aged 115 years, 158 days)
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Cause of death||Kidney failure|
|Known for||Oldest verified person in the world
(January 2, 2009 – September 11, 2009)
Gertrude Baines (April 6, 1894 – September 11, 2009) was an American supercentenarian, who became the oldest recognized living person according to Guinness World Records (upon the death of Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus) on January 2, 2009, until her own death on September 11, 2009, at the age of 115 years 158 days.
Baines lived in Los Angeles. Just before her 115th birthday, Baines was hospitalized and treated for dehydration, but she made a quick recovery. Aside from her arthritis and inability to walk, Baines was in good health until the age of 115. She was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Born in Shellman, Georgia, Baines was the third daughter of Jordan (1863 – October 23, 1921) and Amelia "Amy" Baines (née Daniel), who were married in Terrell County, Georgia, on January 1, 1887. She recalled that her earliest memory was a car ride to Canada.
Gertrude Baines married Sam Conley at a "very young age" and had a daughter, Annabelle, born in 1909, who died of typhoid fever at the age of 18. If alive, at the time of Baines' death she would have been 100 years old. In 1920, Gertrude Conley was recorded as living in Hartford, Connecticut. She later moved to Ohio, where she worked as a maid at Ohio State University, before moving many years later to California. She lived on her own until 1999 when she was 105 years old, and resided at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles until her death. According to MSNBC.com, she enjoyed "simple pleasures" of eating a diet of bacon and eggs and black-eyed peas, and watched shows like The Price Is Right and Jerry Springer.
When asked to what she credited her longevity, Baines answered: "God. Ask Him... I took good care of myself, the way He wanted me to." She also said, "No, I didn't ever think I'd live this long." After her death, Kama Chinen succeeded her as the world's oldest person.
- List of supercentenarians from the United States
- List of the verified oldest people
- Oldest people
- Bermudez, Esmeralda (2009-09-11). "Gertrude Baines, the world's oldest person, dies at 115". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
- Willingham, Val (2006-12-19). "A supercentenarian looks back over 112 years.". CNN. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Taylor, Francis (2007-12-09). "Gertrude Baines: Black Community Treasure at 113". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
- Abdollah, Tami (2008-11-05). "At 114, a daughter of former slaves votes for Obama". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-09-11.