World’s Oldest Person, a Strong-Hearted Georgian, Passed Away Today. She was 116.

December 4, 2012 20:56 pm

by Mark Rountree · 7 comments

The Associated Press is reporting that Walton County, Georgia resident Besse Cooper died this afternoon. She had been ill over the weekend and died today in Monroe, GA.

Georgia’s own lady was the oldest recorded living person in the world according to the Guinness World Book of Records.

Ms. Cooper shared the following advice earlier this year as her secret to living 116 years:  “I mind my own business, and I don’t eat junk food.”

Clearly, most of us on Peach Pundit don’t follow either of these sage pieces of advice. But we appreciated her wisdom, nonetheless.

For perspective, she moved to Georgia (Monroe, in Walton County) during World War 1. She was born August 26, 1896. Grover Cleveland was President of the United States of America. There were 45 States of America: Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii joined later.

RIP Besse Cooper.

Toxic Avenger December 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Wow, that’s one hell of a life. And without politics or Twinkies. That there’s a way to live.

May she rest in peace.

ricstewart December 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I was at Park Place Nursing Home a week and a half ago. I did see Mrs. Cooper’s room, but resisted the urge to try to meet her (didn’t want to treat her like a spectacle).

This makes both of Georgia’s two long-lived ladies to have died this year.

Baker December 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm

To be born between 1850 and 1900, and to live to be 100 (or more like Ms. Cooper), is to have seen the most change in society and civilization of probably any human ever. Amazing.

Mark Rountree December 5, 2012 at 1:31 am

Interesting point, Baker. Not to parse words, but … she didn’t just see changes in this country, she saw changes in civilization as a whole. Interesting context you offer, and I say that with humble respect due to the situation.

martha zoller December 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

Huge changes, Baker. And I think it could be argued, the most change in any time in history. Especially in how people lived their day to day lives. Dr. Leila Denmark, died earlier this year, talked about this often. I had the pleasure of interviewing her once.

Rest in Peace, Ms. Cooper. I life well lived.

Howard Roark December 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

My grandmother lived to be 104. I hope that does not happen to me, but that is not my decision. My grandfather was born in 1900 and lived until 1997 in great health and often talked of the changes he saw in his life.

Ms. Cooper lived in 3 different centuries which is unthinkable. Major news from 1896 includes:

Utah Becomes the 45th U.S. State
Yukon Gold Rush, Gold is discovered in Bonanza (Rabbit) Creek, Yukon, Canada starting the Klondike Gold Rush/Yukon gold rush.
First Modern Olympic Games, The Olympic Games of the I Olympiad are held in Athens, Greece.
Dow Jones Industrial Average First Published, The Dow Jones Industrial Average was first published. The average price of the 12 initial stocks was 40.94.

KristinLSC December 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

My condolences to the family of Besse Cooper, may she rest in peace. if anyone is interested in more information on these amazing people or other supercentenarians(people over 110 years) we track all verified living supercentenarians at

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