14 September 2009

RIP: Gertrude Baines

Gertrude Baines
6 Apr 1894 - 11 Sep 2009

The oldest person in the world has died. ZUI this article from the Los Angeles Times:
Although she liked her bacon crispy and her chicken fried, she never drank, smoked or fooled around, Gertrude Baines once said, describing a life that lasted an astonishing 115 years and earned her the title of oldest person on the planet.

It was a title Baines quietly relinquished Friday when she died in her sleep at Western Convalescent Hospital, her home since she gave up living alone at age 107 after breaking a hip.

She likely suffered a heart attack, said her longtime physician, Dr. Charles Witt, although an autopsy was scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.


Baines was born in Shellman, Ga., on April 6, 1894, when Grover Cleveland was in the White House, radio communication was just being developed and television was still more than a half-century from becoming a ubiquitous household presence.

She was 4 years old when the Spanish-American War broke out and 9 when the first World Series was played. She had already reached middle age by the time the U.S. entered World War II in 1941.


The centenarian, who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dormitories until her retirement, had outlived all of her family members. Her only daughter died of typhoid at age 18.

In her final years, she passed her days watching her favorite TV program, "The Jerry Springer Show," and consuming her favorite foods: bacon, fried chicken and ice cream. She complained often, however, that the bacon served to her was too soft.

Baines is the first supercentenarian listed by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) to die since the death of Gertrude Noone on 10 September.

The GRG's list of validated living supercentenarians (people who have reached their 110th birthday) currently includes 72 people (4 men and 68 women), ranging from Kama Chinen of Japan (born 10 May 1895) to Ruth Anderson of Minnesota (born 24 Jul 1899). The oldest person in the United States is now Mary Josephine Ray of New Hampshire (born 17 May 1895 in Canada), the world's second-oldest person; 26 other supercentenarians live in the US, though none are in California.

No comments: