Sarah Knauss at age 119 in 1999
|Born||Sarah DeRemer Clark
September 24, 1880
Hollywood, Pennsylvania, United States
|Died||December 30, 1999
(aged 119 years, 97 days)
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Occupation||Former manager, homemaker|
|Height||4 ft 7 in (1.40 m)|
|Title||America's oldest person|
|Spouse(s)||Abraham Lincoln Knauss
(1878 - 1965), (m. 1901–1965)
Sarah DeRemer Knauss (née Clark; September 24, 1880 – December 30, 1999) was an American supercentenarian. Knauss is the oldest person ever from the United States, as well as the second-oldest fully documented person ever behind Jeanne Calment. She was considered the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records from April 16, 1998, until her death.
She was born Sarah DeRemer Clark on September 24, 1880 in Hollywood, Pennsylvania, a small coal mining village. She married Abraham Lincoln Knauss in 1901; he became a prominent Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Republican leader, and the recorder of deeds. She was a homemaker and manager for an insurance agency.
At age 116, she was recognized as being the new United States national longevity record holder, then thought to have been held by Carrie C. White (reportedly 1874–1991). In 1998, she is thought to have become the world's oldest person when 117-year-old Marie-Louise Meilleur of Quebec died. When her family members told her of her newfound fame, her response was a smile and "So what?"
She died in Allentown, Pennsylvania on December 30, 1999 at the Phoebe-Devitt Homes Foundation nursing home, which had been her residence for nine years. She came within 33 hours of having lived in three different centuries and two different millennia. She credited not letting things upset her as being the 'secret' to her longevity.[A]
Of her death, state senator Charlie Dent, who had attended her 115th birthday in 1995, said, "Mrs. Knauss was an extraordinary woman who pushed the outer limits of longevity. This is a sad occasion, but she certainly had an eventful life."
- Her daughter, Kathryn Sullivan, aged 96 at the time, opined that Knauss is "a very tranquil person and nothing fazes her."
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