Jeralean Talley

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Jeralean Talley
Jeralean Talley born May 23, 1899.jpg
Jeralean Talley just prior to 116th birthday
Jeralean Kurtz

May 23, 1899
Montrose, Georgia, United States
DiedJune 17, 2015
(aged 116 years, 25 days)
Known for Oldest living person (April 6, 2015 - June 17, 2015)
Spouse(s)Alfred Talley [1] (1893–1988)
(m. 1936–88; his death) [2]
ChildrenOne daughter
Parent(s)Samuel and Amelia Kurtz

Jeralean Talley (née Kurtz; May 23, 1899 – June 17, 2015) was an American supercentenarian who was, at the age of 116 years, 25 days, the world's verified oldest living person. She was previously thought to be the oldest living American, from the death of Elsie Thompson on March 21, 2013 until Gertrude Weaver was verified to be older in July 2014. [3] Upon Weaver's death on April 6, 2015, [4] Talley was recognized as the oldest living person in the world. Talley received letters from U.S. President Barack Obama on her 114th and 116th birthdays acknowledging her status.

Americans Citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

A supercentenarian is someone who has reached the age of 110. This age is achieved by about one in 1,000 centenarians. Anderson et al. concluded that supercentenarians live a life typically free of major age-related diseases until shortly before maximum human lifespan is reached.

Barack Obama 44th president of the United States

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.



Talley was born on May 23, 1899 in Georgia. One of 12 children, [5] she spent her early years living on a farm picking cotton and peanuts and harvesting sweet potatoes. She moved to Inkster, Michigan in 1935, and lived there until she died. In 1936, she married Alfred Talley (January 30, 1893 October 17, 1988). They had one child, a daughter, Thelma Holloway, born in 1937. Jeralean and Alfred were married for 52 years before he died in October 1988, at the age of 95. [6] Talley had three grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. [7] [8] [9]

Georgia (U.S. state) State in the United States

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.

Inkster, Michigan City in Michigan

Inkster is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. At the 2010 census, the city population was 25,369.

Health and lifestyle

According to her daughter Thelma, Jeralean stayed active in her later life by sewing dresses, making quilts and playing slot machines at casinos. She bowled until she was 104, when her legs got too weak, but still went on annual fishing trips with her friend Michael Kinloch and his son Tyler, who was also her godson. [7] [8]

Talley was a member of the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, whose members referred to her as "Mother Talley". In May 2013, they celebrated her 114th birthday by officially naming the church's driveway after her. Talley also received a personalised letter from U.S. President Barack Obama, who wrote that she was "part of an extraordinary generation". [10] On her 116th birthday, Talley received another letter from Obama who wrote that the "breadth of her experience and depth of her wisdom reflects the long path our nation has traveled since 1899". [11]

She said she lived by the Golden Rule. She was known in the community for her wisdom and wit, and when people sought her advice she told them to use common sense, saying "I don't have much education but what little sense I got, I try to use it". [12]

The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as you want to be treated. It is a maxim that is found in many religions and cultures. It can be considered an ethic of reciprocity in some religions, although other religions treat it differently. The maxim may appear as a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:


On June 17, 2015, Talley died after a week of hospitalization. She had prayed not to suffer before death, and reportedly died peacefully during her sleep at her home in Inkster. Regarding her great age, she had been quoted as saying "There's nothing I can do about it." [13] Following her death, Susannah Mushatt Jones became the oldest person in the world. [14]

Susannah Mushatt Jones American supercentenarian

Susannah Mushatt Jones was an African American supercentenarian who was, at the age of 116 years and 311 days, the world's oldest living person and the last living American born in the 19th century. She received tributes from the United States House of Representatives and from the Alabama House of Representatives "for a remarkable lifetime of exceptional achievement lived during three centuries".

See also

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  2. "Alfred Talley, "United States Census, 1940"". Family Search.
  3. "At 116, Arkansas woman named oldest American". MSN. 4 July 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  4. Chaffin, Sarah (April 6, 2015). "World's oldest person, Arkansan Gertrude Weaver, dies". KATV . Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  5. "Jeralean Talley, World's Oldest Person, Celebrates Her 116th Birthday". NBC News. May 23, 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  6. "Oldest American, Jeralean Talley, Turns 114 Years Old". May 23, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Local centenarians honored at Charles H. Wright Museum's Summer Theater Festival". The Michigan Citizen. July 25, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  8. 1 2 "Happy 114th Birthday to Jeralean Talley, The Oldest Living American!". May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  9. Anderson, Elisha (April 3, 2013). "Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Mich., was born May 23, 1899". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  10. "Michigan woman celebrates 114th birthday with friends, family". Lansing State May 26, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.[ permanent dead link ]
  11. "Inkster's Jeralean Talley, world's oldest person, turns 116 Saturday". Detroit Free Press. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  12. "The oldest person in America turned 114 yesterday (PICTURED)". May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  13. Anderson, Elisha (June 18, 2015). "Jeralean Talley, world's oldest person, dies at 116". USA Today . Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  14. World’s oldest-known person Jeralean Talley dies at 116 Retrieved 19 June 2015.