116-Year-Old Dies After Week as World's Oldest

Gertrude Weaver credited her longevity in part to being kind
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2015 7:10 PM CDT
In this photo taken July 3, 2014, Gertrude Weaver, who had turned 116 July 4, raises her arms as she calls the hogs at Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation Center in Camden, Ark.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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(Newser) – Gertrude Weaver was the oldest-known living person on Earth for nearly a week, and she got a kick out of it, too, NBC News reports. When 117-year-old Misao Okawa died of heart failure on April 1, Weaver took the top spot at age 116 and basked in the limelight from her Arkansas senior care facility, where she liked reading news articles about herself. She died there peacefully this morning due to complications from pneumonia, KATV reports. "She certainly enjoyed it," says the facility's administrator. "We are devastated by her loss."

Weaver was born to a family of sharecroppers in Arkansas, near Texas, on July 4, 1898, and took on work as a domestic aid, Reuters reports. Weaver credited her long life to being kind to people and eating food she cooked herself, says NPR. One of her last wishes was to have President Obama visit the Silver Oaks Health & Rehabilitation Center in Camden, Ark., for her birthday. The new world's-oldest is Jeralean Talley, who turns 116 in May and lives outside Detroit with her daughter. She puts her longevity down to faith: "It's the Lord," she says. "Everything is in his hands." She also bowled until age 104 and says she never drank alcohol or smoked. (Weaver had more advice for living a long life.)

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