A 114-year-old Ohio woman who is believed to have been the oldest person living in the United States died Tuesday, a family member said.
While many in Brown’s family attributed her longevity to her habit of eating a sweet potato every day for the majority of her life, Brown herself believed it was something else, The Enquirer reported.
“Oh I don’t know. A lot of them say it’s because I ate a lot of sweet potatoes, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know,” Brown told WJW-TV when she celebrated her 109th birthday.
“God’s will,” she said.
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) January 9, 2019
Brown, who turned 114 in September, was born in 1904 on a farm outside Atlanta, Georgia. She was one of 12 kids.
Brown married Robert Brown when she was about 22 and had five children. Her husband died in 1991, and she became the country’s oldest person in May 2018 following the death of 114-year-old Delphine Gibson of Pennsylvania.
When one of Brown’s daughters, Verline Wilson, told Brown in May of her accomplishment, Brown responded, “that’s good.”
America's oldest living person, Cleveland Heights' Lessie Brown, celebrated her 114th birthday Saturday. She spent the day surrounded by family and friends who couldn't say enough nice things about the woman who they described as strong and determined, yet gentle and loving. pic.twitter.com/FE7xdpmmbd
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) September 24, 2018
It was recently reported that the woman who held the record for being the oldest person to have lived may have been lying.
French woman Jeanne Calment was reportedly born Feb. 21, 1875 according to her birth certificate and celebrated her 122nd birthday on Feb. 21, 1997.
Russian researchers are now alleging that Calment may have stolen her mother’s identity in an effort to avoid paying an inheritance tax.
Official documents show that Jeanne’s daughter, Yvonne, died in 1934. But Nikolai Zak, a mathematician and member of the Society of Naturalists of Moscow University, believes Jeanne actually died in 1934, and Yvonne took her mother’s identity.
This would mean Yvonne was 99 when she died, not 122 as she was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
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