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)[A]
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)[2] 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 recognised as the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records from April 16, 1998, until her death.[1][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.[1]

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).[1] In 1998, she became 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?"[1][8] She died 33 hours short of living into a third century, just missing the year 2000 celebration.[6]

Knauss lived through seven wars involving the U.S. and the administrations of 23 presidents.[2] 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.[1] She credited not letting things upset her as being the 'secret' to her longevity.[B][1][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]

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  1. ^ One source erroneously reports her date of death as December 31, 1999.[1]
  2. ^ Her daughter, Kathryn Sullivan, aged 96 at the time, opined that Knauss is "a very tranquil person and nothing fazes her."[1]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  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. December 31, 1999. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "World's oldest person misses millennium.". CNN via WebCite. Retrieved March 23, 2008. As one of very few people who have already seen one century roll over to the next, she would probably not have made a fuss about the arrival of the year 2000. 
  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. ^ Devlin, Ron (December 31, 1999). "Sarah Knauss, oldest person, dies at 119". The Morning Call. Retrieved February 18, 2013 – via 

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