World's oldest person Sussanah Mushatt Jones dies age 116

Ms Jones said the key to a long, healthy life was to surround yourself with love and positive energy

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The Independent Online

The world’s oldest person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, has died aged 116.

The Alabama native died at an elderly people’s public housing facility in New York City on Thursday, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She had lived there for over three decades and had been ill for the past 10 days.

One of 11 children, Ms Jones was born in Alabama in 1899. According to the research group, she was the very last American who was born in the 1800s. 

The granddaughter of slaves, and daughter of sharecroppers, Ms Jones attended a school specifically for young black girls. After graduating in 1922, she worked as a nanny before moving to New York where she co-founded a scholarship fund for young African-American women to attend college.

Ms Jones became the oldest woman alive following the death of 117-year-old Misao Okawa in Tokyo last year.

Last year, Ms Jones revealed what she believed is the key to living a long, healthy life: “I never drink or smoke. I surround myself with love and positive energy,” she said. “That’s the key to long life and happiness.”

As far as a daily routine goes, she added she gets “lots of sleep” and eats a daily breakfast of bacon and eggs. 

Ms Jones is survived by over 100 nieces and nephews.

The oldest person alive now is thought to be Emma Morano, a 116-year-old Italian woman who is just a few months younger than Ms Jones.

Additional reporting by agencies.