On August 26, Besse Cooper celebrated her 116th birthday. The Georgia resident is one of only 8 people, 4 of which are Americans, who have reached the age of 116. She is the last living verifiable person born in 1896 and currently holds the title of “World’s Oldest Living Person” in the Guiness World Records. Cooper has lived through the Spanish-American War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, two World Wars and seen women gain the right to vote. According to an article in GeorgiaHealthNews.com, Cooper even helped register women to vote in 1920. When she was born, the horse and buggy were the most common form of transportation; she has since witnessed the introduction of the Model T, the invention of the airplane, and the first man walk on the moon.
Now, maybe we’re a little diet-centric here at The Maurer Foundation, but once the shock of Cooper’s age wore off, our first question was, what is she eating? What’s her secret? We’ve written about the diet and lifestyle choices of centenarians before, but Cooper is considered a “super-centenarian,” someone over the age of 110, so we couldn’t resist doing some research.
According to her son Sidney Cooper, Besse Cooper has been amazingly healthy for most of her life. She was rarely in the hospital and has never had a surgery. She takes few medications, even at her advanced age. She lived most of her life on a farm and according to her son, “she ate a lot of vegetables.” She has famously reported in the past that the secret to her long life is that, “I mind my own business. And I don’t eat junk food.”
Sounds like good advice to us!
(Video shot when Cooper turned 114.)