World's oldest person celebrates 116th birthday

Besse Cooper, the world's oldest person, turned 116 on August 26, 2012. (Guinness World Records...

Besse Cooper, the world's oldest person, turned 116 on August 26, 2012. (Guinness World Records handout)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

Besse Cooper - the world's oldest living person, according to Guinness World Records - celebrated her 116th birthday Sunday.

The super centenarian from Monroe, Ga., had a bridge dedicated in her honour on her special day and a Guinness official presented her with a plaque.

"The older she has gotten the more wittier she has gotten," her son Sidney said at the ceremony, reports the Walton Tribune.

Cooper is among eight people who've ever lived to 116 years old.

Guinness officially recognized the petite white-haired senior as the world's oldest person in January 2011.

She'd briefly lost the title after officials discovered a Brazilian great-grandmother Maria Gomes Valentim was more than a month older, however she died in June.

Cooper was born in Tennessee in 1896 and moved to Monroe during the First World War to search for work as a school teacher.

She married her late husband Luther in 1924 and they had four children. She has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great- and great-great grandchildren.

She credits her longevity to a healthy diet.

"I mind my own business and I don't eat junk food."

The oldest person to ever live was Jeanne Louise Calment, of Arles, France, who lived to the ripe age of 122, according to Guinness records.


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