Woman Believed to Be World's Oldest Person Dies

发帖者 ADuu | 9/13/2009 03:23:00 AM | 0 评论 »

Gertrude Baines, who was reportedly the world's oldest person, died on Friday in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 115, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Baines died at Western Convalescent Hospital in the West Adams district, the hospital's administrator, Emma Camanag, told the paper.

Baines, whose father was believed to have been a slave, was born on April 6, 1894, when the U.S. flag had 44 stars and Grover Cleveland was president. She married at a young age and later divorced.

Her only child, a daughter, died of typhoid at 18. Baines outlived every one of her relatives, according to the newspaper.

Baines' image -- cinnamon lips turned up in a gentle smile and thinning hair tucked under a bright red bonnet -- was broadcast nationally in November when Baines, then the oldest person of African descent and the third-oldest person worldwide, cast her vote for Barack Obama as president, the paper reported.

Acclaim escalated two months later, on Jan. 2, when 115-year-old Maria de Jesus of Portugal died and Baines was handed the title of oldest living person by the Gerontology Research Group, which verifies claims of extreme old age, the paper said.

The Western Convalescent Hospital had been the supercentenarian's home since she broke her hip at age 107, the paper reported.

Aside from arthritis, Baines had been in good overall health until recently.

Growing up in Georgia, Baines lived through a time when blacks were blocked from voting and subject to violent racism. She lived in Ohio for some time and worked as a maid at Ohio State University. She then moved to California, where she settled in Los Angeles.

The supercentenarian lived alone with the help of a caretaker until she turned 107, according to the paper.

With her passing, Kama Chinen, a 114-year-old Japanese woman born on May 10, 1895, is now the oldest reported person in the world, the paper said.

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