Susannah Mushatt Jones
Susannah Mushatt Jones
Birth: 6 July 1899
Lowndes County, Alabama, USA
Death: 12 May 2016
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Age: 116 years, 311 days
Country: USA FlagUSA

Susannah Mushatt Jones (6 July 1899 – 12 May 2016) was the oldest verified living person in the world from the death of 116-year-old Jeralean Talley on 17 June 2015 until her own death on 12 May 2016. At the time of her death she was the seventh-oldest verified person ever. She was also one of the last two living people verified to have been born in the 1800's along with Emma Morano of Italy. She was also the last surviving American person born in the 19th century.


She was born in Lowndes County in Alabama on 6 July 1899, the 9th child out of 11 children. Her parents were sharecroppers who farmed the same land as her grandparents (one had been a slave). (Her grandmother, an ex-slave, reportedly lived for 117 years based on census data.) As a young woman, she worked in the fields but she was determined to escape that hard existence. On 4 March 1922, she graduated from the Calhoun Boarding High School and the graduation roster recognized her for studying "Negro Music in France". After graduation she wanted to become a teacher and was accepted to Tuskegee Institute's Teacher's Program. However, her parents did not have enough money to pay for her college, so in 1923, she moved to New York during the early stages of the Harlem Renaissance.

In 1928 she married Henry Jones but the marriage only lasted for five years. She divorced him in 1933 saying that she "didn't know what became of him". She had no children. She worked for wealthy families taking care of their children for $7 a week. During this time, she supported many of her relatives as they moved to New York.She also used some of her salary to establish The Calhoun Club, which was a college scholarship fund for African American students at her high school.She was also active in her neighborhood for almost 30 years, participating in the "tenant patrol team".

In 1965 she retired and lived with her niece Lavilla Watson and helped care for Watson's baby son.

She resided at the Vandalia Senior Center in East New York, Brooklyn and had more than 100 nieces and nephews.

Health, Diet and Lifestyle

Susannah was in good health past age 100, serving as "hall monitor" at the Vandalia Senior Homes until age 106.

In her last years, Susannah was blind, partially deaf, couldn't say much, and used a wheelchair. She only took high blood pressure medication and a multivitamin. She became blind from glaucoma when she was 100. She refused cataract surgery and a recommended pacemaker. She never had a mammogram or a colonoscopy, but she did see a primary care physician three to four times a year. Every day Jones would eat 4 strips of bacon for breakfast.

Jones never smoked, drunk alcohol, partied, worn makeup, or dyed her hair, and slept about 10 hours a day. She also attributed not being married long and eating bacon for her longevity.


Susannah Mushatt Jones died in her home in East New York, Brooklyn following a shorter time of illness on 12 May 2016, aged 116 years, 311 days.



World's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Betsy BakerJennie HowellMarie CarstensonNancy RyanChristina Karnebeek-Backs • Marie Olsen • Mary Kelly • Elizabeth Kensley • William Fullingim • Hannah Smith • John Mosley Turner • Johanna Booysen • Marie Bernatkova • Ada Roe • Josefa Salas Mateo • Alice Stevenson • Elizabeth Watkins • Mito Umeta • Niwa Kawamoto • Sophia DeMuth • Marie-Virginie Duhem • Fannie Thomas • Augustine Tessier • Nellie Spencer • Emma Wilson • Mathew Beard • Augusta Holtz • Mary McKinney • Anna Eliza Williams • Florence Knapp • Jeanne Calment • Marie-Louise Meilleur • Sarah Knauss • Eva Morris • Marie Bremont • Maud Farris-Luse • Grace Clawson • Adelina Domingues • Mae Harrington • Yukichi Chuganji • Mitoyo Kawate • Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan • Maria Capovilla • Elizabeth Bolden • Emiliano Mercado del Toro • Emma Tillman • Yone Minagawa • Edna Parker • Maria de Jesus • Gertrude Baines • Kama Chinen • Eugenie Blanchard • Maria Gomes Valentim • Besse Cooper • Dina Manfredini • Jiroemon Kimura • Misao Okawa • Gertrude Weaver • Jeralean Talley • Susannah Mushatt Jones • Emma Morano • Violet BrownNabi Tajima • Chiyo MiyakoKane Tanaka