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Happy 116th Birthday Besse Cooper, Oldest Human Being

via World's oldest person: Besse Cooper of Georgia becomes eighth human ever to celebrate 116th birthday.

Last summer, a former schoolteacher from Georgia named Besse Cooper became the world’s oldest living human. She was 114 years old—the same age at which nearly everyone earns the distinction, and an age that only a few titleholders ever surpass. Exploring that apparent age barrier in a Slate piece at the time, I wrote that “if historical trends hold, (Cooper) will likely be dead within a year.”

But historical trends did not hold. In defiance of the odds, Cooper, who was born in 1896, was alive and smiling on Sunday to celebrate her 116th birthday. She became just the eighth person in human history to verifiably reach that age.


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