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 Susannah Mushatt Jones, confirmed by the Guinness World Records organization as the oldest living person in the world this past June, celebrated her 116th birthday on Monday privately in Brooklyn. Today, a public celebration of Jones’ life will take place at her housing community with friends, family and local officials.

Jones was born July 6, 1889 in Alabama, as  child of a sharecropper and a granddaughter to former slaves. According to Guinness, Jones moved north to New Jersey in 1922 after graduating high school. She then moved into New York where she worked as a child care provider and housekeeper. Jones retired from work in 1965, and settled in Brooklyn. Although Jones is hard of hearing and lost her eyesight, she is not beholden to a bed and can get around ably.

More from Guinness:

The oldest person ever to have lived is also female, Jeanne Calment (France) who lived to 122 years and 164 days.

When Susannah was 106 years old, The New York City Housing Authority paid tribute to her regular particpation in community tenant patrols in her neighbourhood and she received a congratulatory tribute from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg who wished her “good health and great happiness.”

At this time, Susannah told the Housing Authority: “I never drink or smoke. I surround myself with love and positive energy. That’s the key to long life and happiness.”

When asked today what the keys were to a long life, Jones answered, “Sleep!”

Amen to that. Happy birthday to Ms. Susannah Mushatt Jones.

Photo: Guinness World Records

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