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116 Year Old Arkansas Woman Declared ‘Oldest In America’

A south Arkansas woman celebrated her 116th birthday Friday with cake, a party and a new title! She’s now officially the oldest confirmed living American and second-oldest person in the world.

Gertrude Weaver spent her birthday at home at a nursing home in Camden, Arkansas, about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock. This year’s festivities included the new award from the Gerontology Research Group, whose research has determined that Weaver, born in 1898, is the oldest living American.

Weaver was born in rural southwest Arkansas near the Texas border and was married in 1915. She and her husband had four children, all of whom have died except for a 93-year-old son. Although no birth record exist, she celebrates her birthday each year on the 4th of July.

Weaver is now officially the second-oldest person in the world, just months behind Misao Okawa of Japan, also 116.

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