News Column

Oldest American Turns 115

May 23, 2014

Associated Press

Jeralean Talley turns 115 years old on Friday (AP)
Jeralean Talley turns 115 years old on Friday (AP)

INKSTER, Michigan (AP) The oldest American, a member of a select group of the living to have been born in the 19th century, is celebrating her 115th birthday Friday.

Jeralean Talley, who was born May 23, 1899 and is the second-oldest person in the world, went fishing last year and still gets around on her own with the help of a walker.

On her birthday, Talley is going to the doctor for a checkup, although she says she doesn't feel sick. The Michigan resident plans to celebrate with family and friends at a local church on Sunday.

Talley's knees occasionally hurt, her right hand shakes, she has a hard time hearing and her memory comes and goes.

Her answer as to why she has lived so long hasn't changed over the years.

"It's all in the good Lord's hands," Talley told the Detroit Free Press (http://on.freep.com/1r0fdRL ). "There's nothing I can do about it."

Talley is the oldest-living American and the second-oldest person in the world, according to a list maintained by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world's longest-living people.

The Gerontology Research Group verified Talley's age using census data. Japan resident Misao Okawa, 116, tops the list.

Talley, whose husband died in 1988, is cared for by a 76-year-old daughter who lives with her.

Five generations of the family are living in the area, including a great-great-grandson.

Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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Original headline: Oldest-living American turning 115 years old



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