The world’s oldest living person, Susannah Mushatt Jones, died in a Brooklyn senior center late night on Thursday, May 12. She was 116 years old.
Jones was born on July 6, 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama. After graduating from high school in 1922, she moved to New Jersey, then Westchester where she worked as a housekeeper and nanny.
Family members claimed that she always had a love for children.
Throughout her career, Jones also worked with a group of her fellow high school graduates to start a scholarship fund for young African-American women to go to college.
She continued to work in Harlem until retirement. In 1965, she relocated back to her hometown of Alabama, however returned to New York permanently.
When Jones turned 80, she moved to a Canarsie senior center.
Jones married in 1928 and divorced in 1933. Although she didn’t have children, Jones had more than 100 nieces and nephews over the course of her life. She was one of 11 siblings..
Jones, given the title of “Queen of Kings County”, celebrated her last five birthdays at the Vandalia Senior Center, 47 Vandalia Avenue.
Last July, she was presented with a certificate from Guinness World Records recognizing her as the oldest person alive. She was considered the only American who lived in the 19th century.
Elected officials often attended Jones’ birthday celebrations to commemorate the achievement. Attendees have included Borough President Eric Adams, Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries, and District Attorney Charles Hynes, among others.
For her final birthday, Adams declared it “Miss Susie Day”, a name that her closest friends and family called her.
“I’m just thankful for her life and her struggle and her journey and the fact that we all stand on her broad shoulders,” Jeffries said during the last celebration.
Jones thanked everyone for showing up. “Thank you. I love you too,” she said.