Gertrude Baines

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Gertrude Baines
Gertude Baines turns 115.JPG
Gertrude Baines at her 115th birthday party in Los Angeles
Born April 6, 1894
Shellman, Georgia
Died September 11, 2009
(aged 115 years, 158 days)
Western Convalescent Hospital, Jefferson Park, Los Angeles
Cause of death Kidney failure
Residence Jefferson Park, Los Angeles
Occupation Former homemaker
Known for Oldest verified person in the world
(January 2, 2009 – September 11, 2009)

Gertrude Baines (nee Conley) (April 6, 1894 – September 11, 2009)[1] 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. After her death, Kama Chinen of Japan succeeded her as the world's oldest person.[1]

Personal history[edit]

Baines was born in Shellman, Georgia in 1894. She recalled that her earliest memory was a car ride to Canada.[2]

She later married at a young age and had a daughter who died of typhoid fever at the age of 18. 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.[3] According to, 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.

Baines voted for Barack Obama for U.S. President in the 2008 election. The only other time she voted in a Presidential election was in 1960 for John F. Kennedy.[4]

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."[2] She also said, "No, I didn't ever think I'd live this long."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bermudez, Esmeralda (2009-09-11). "Gertrude Baines, the world's oldest person, dies at 115". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  2. ^ a b Willingham, Val (2006-12-19). "A supercentenarian looks back over 112 years". CNN. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  3. ^ Taylor, Francis (2007-12-09). "Gertrude Baines: Black Community Treasure at 113". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-09-02. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b 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. 

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