Sarah Knauss

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Sarah Knauss
Sarah Knauss.jpg
Sarah Knauss at age 119 in 1999
Born Sarah DeRemer Clark
(1880-09-24)September 24, 1880
Hollywood, Pennsylvania, United States
Died December 30, 1999(1999-12-30)
(aged 119 years, 97 days)
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Other names Sadie
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)
Children 1[citation needed]

Sarah DeRemer Knauss (née Clark; September 24, 1880 – December 30, 1999)[1] 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.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


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.[2]

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).[2] In 1998, she is thought to have become the world's oldest person when 117-year-old Canadian Marie-Louise Meilleur of Quebec died. When her family members told her of her newfound fame, her response was a smile and "So what?"[2][8]

Knauss lived through seven wars involving the U.S. and the administrations of 23 presidents.[1] At her death, she was one of seven living generations of her family.[9]

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.[2] She credited not letting things upset her as being the 'secret' to her longevity.[A][2][7]

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."[10]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Her daughter, Kathryn Sullivan, aged 96 at the time, opined that Knauss is "a very tranquil person and nothing fazes her."[2]


  1. ^ a b Newton, Christopher (31 December 1999). "Sarah Knauss, world's oldest person, dies at 119". Athens Banner-Herald. Online Athens. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Merrill, Gary F. (February 3, 2015). Our Aging Bodies. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 9780813575261. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Nothing Fazes Oldest Woman". Associated Press. April 19, 1998. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  4. ^ "World's oldest person dies. She is the oldest verified American in history". The Guardian. London. January 1, 2000. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Sarah Knauss, World's Oldest Person Dies at 119". The Nevada Daily Mail. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. November 30, 1999. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  6. ^ "World's oldest person misses millennium.". CNN via WebCite. Retrieved March 23, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Harris, Timothy (2009). Living to 100 and Beyond. Winsted, CT: ACTEX Publications. p. 85. ISBN 1566986990. ISBN 9781566986991. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ Newton, Christopher (Dec 31, 1999). "Sarah Knauss, World's Oldest Person Dies at 119". Lakeland Ledger. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ Enriquez, Juan (October 25, 2005). As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth. New York: The Crown Publishing Group, Three Rivers Press. p. 96. ISBN 9781400047741. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Sarah Knauss, oldest person, dies at 119". December 31, 1999. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 

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