Oldest American Celebrates Big Birthday Today

Jeralean Talley celebrating 115 years with trip to doctor
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2014 8:39 AM CDT
Oldest American Celebrates Big Birthday Today
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

How do you celebrate your 115th birthday? When you're Jeralean Talley—the oldest American and second-oldest person in the world—you go to the doctor for a checkup, of course. Don't worry, it's only a precaution for the Inkster, Mich., woman, who was born on today's date in 1899 and still gets around on her own with a walker, the Detroit Free Press reports. Certain body parts hurt at times, her right hand shakes, and she has some hearing and memory issues, but "I don't feel sick," says Talley, who plans to celebrate the big birthday properly with friends and family at church on Sunday.

Talley bowled until she was 104 and went fishing last year, but now she spends most of her time watching television or looking out the window. She just lights up, though, around her 14-month-old great-great-grandson, says Talley's 76-year-old daughter. Americans currently have a 1 in 5 million chance of becoming a supercentenarian—that's someone who lives to 110 or older. So what's Talley's secret? "It's all in the good Lord’s hands," Talley notes. "There's nothing I can do about it." (A researcher recently dug into what it's like to be 100.)

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