Besse Cooper, World's Oldest Person, Turns 115

08/26/2011 05:42 pm ET | Updated Oct 26, 2011

By Associated Press

MONROE, Ga. — About 15 to 20 people celebrated the birthday of Besse Cooper, who is listed as the world's oldest person.

Cooper turned 115 Friday.

Her daughter-in-law Edith Cooper said a small group of relatives and friends gathered at a Monroe nursing home, where Besse Cooper enjoyed two small slivers of her birthday cake and nodded with approval as musician Mike Cronic sang "Tennessee Waltz."

Cooper was born in Tennessee and moved to Georgia during World War I to find work as a teacher. She has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband Luther died in 1963.

Cooper was declared the world's oldest in January. In May, Guinness learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died June 21.

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