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World's oldest person dies at age 116
Scripps Howard News Service


December 12, 2006
Tuesday AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Elizabeth Bolden, the world's oldest person and the daughter of freed slaves, died Monday at the age of 116.

Bolden, who died in a nursing home, was the mother of seven children, 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren. She was born Elizabeth Jones on Aug. 15, 1890, and married Lewis Bolden around 1908.

Even though she was unable to communicate after a stroke in 2004, family members said in August at her 116th birthday party that she enjoyed her favorite treat - ice cream and cake.

It was right after her birthday, that she succeeded Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador as the world's oldest person.

When Capovilla died Aug. 27 at 116, she was 11 months older than Bolden. Guinness World Records then verified Bolden as the oldest living person in the world.

Emiliano Mercado del Toro, 115, of Puerto Rico, now becomes the oldest person in the world, according to records at the Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles, which tracks the ages of the world's oldest people.

Bolden's family said no other members have lived to be 100.

"I visited her on Saturday and she would open her eyes occasionally and look around," said her 69-year-old grandson, James Bolden.

He said the nursing home called family members early Monday to report that she died around 1:30 a.m.

"She did live a remarkable life and that is a great condolence for us," he said. "She was a strong Christian woman and she will be missed."


Contact Yolanda Jones of The Commercial Appeal
in Memphis, Tenn., at

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