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
Children 1

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 own death.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][too many citations]


She was born Sarah DeRemer Clark on September 24, 1880 in Hollywood, Pennsylvania, a small coal mining village. She married Abraham Lincoln Strauss 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 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][13]

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.[14]

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 came within 33 hours of having lived in three different centuries and two different millennia.[2][6] 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."[15]

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 h 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. ^ a b "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. ^ "Mrs. Sarah Knauss, the World's Oldest Person, Turns 119". The Morning Call. September 25, 1999. 
  9. ^ "World's Oldest Person, Sarah Knauss, Dies at 119". The Washington Post. December 31, 1999. Retrieved December 5, 2015. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Young, Robert D.; Epstein, Louis; Coles, L. Stephen (June 2009). "Living and All-Time World Longevity Record-Holders Over the Age of 110" (Full Text PDF). Rejuvenation Research 12 (3): 231–232. doi:10.1089/rej.2009.0882. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  11. ^ Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group (LA-GRG) (December 2, 2004). "Validated Supercentenarian Cases Aged 114 and Above". Rejuvenation Research (Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group (LA-GRG)) 7 (4): 271–274. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  12. ^ Carey, James R. (2003). "Supplement: Life Span: Evolutionary, Ecological, and Demographic Perspectives". Population and Development Review (Population Council, jstor) 29: 1–18. Retrieved December 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ Newton, Christopher (Dec 31, 1999). "Sarah Knauss, World’s Oldest Person Dies at 119". Lakeland Ledger (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Sarah Knauss, oldest person, dies at 119". December 31, 1999. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 

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