World's oldest person dies in U.S. at age 115

Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:18pm EST
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CINCINNATI (Reuters) - The world's oldest person, an Indiana woman, died on Wednesday at the age of 115, according to a gerontology expert.

"Ms. Edna Parker of Indiana, the world's oldest person for a number of years, passed away today (Wednesday) at the age of 115 years, 220 days," Stephen Coles, a gerontologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, said on the website of the Gerontology Research Group.

Parker, a former school teacher who was born on April 20, 1893, died peacefully at the Heritage House Convalescent Center in Shelbyville, Indiana, the local newspaper reported. A photo of Parker, dressed in a blue dress with a flower corsage, graced the front page of The Shelbyville News.

Parker and her husband, who died of a heart attack when she was 48, had two sons.

Parker was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person alive. The nursing home where she lived was also the home of Sandy Allen, who at 7 feet, 7 1-4 inches was listed as the world's tallest woman.

The oldest living person is now 115-year-old Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who was born on September 10, 1893, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Bill Trott and Sandra Maler)