Besse Cooper was named world's oldest person in January 2011 (Guinness World Records)
Besse Cooper was named world\'s oldest person in January 2011 (Guinness World Records)

Besse Cooper, the woman listed as the world's oldest person, has died aged 116.

Cooper died at a nursing home near Atlanta, Georgia, her son Sidney confirmed. She had recently been suffering from a stomach virus.

Her 77-year-old son told Reuters that "she looked real good when she passed away," adding his mother died peacefully.

Born August 26, 1896 in Tennessee, Cooper was named the oldest living human in the January 2011 edition of Guinness World Records.

The following May, it was revealed that a Brazilian woman Maria Gomes Valentin was in fact 48 days older than Cooper, but she died a month later.

When asked the secret to her long life, Cooper once said: "I mind my own business and I don't eat junk food."

According to Guinness, only eight people have ever reached the age of 116.

Cooper is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.

Guinness say 115-year-old Dina Manfredini from Iowa is now the world's oldest living person.

The oldest recorded living person of all time was French-born Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122.

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