Published August 27, 2012
MONROE, Ga. – The world’s oldest living person celebrated her 116th birthday Sunday, the Guinness World Records’ website reported.
Besse Cooper, of Monroe, Ga., was certified as the “world’s oldest person” by Guinness World Records in January 2011, but she had to relinquish the title for a few months when it was discovered that Maria Gomes Valentim was 48 days older, according to the website.
Cooper was reinstated when Valentim died in June 2011; and Robert Young, senior consultant of gerontology for Guinness World Records, presented her with another plaque at her birthday party Sunday.
The website reported that a bridge on New Hope Church Road was dedicated in Cooper’s honor as well.
Cooper was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to find employment as a teacher. She has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband, Luther, died in 1963.
Cooper told Guinness World Records that the secret to her longevity was not eating junk food, and “I mind my own business.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.