Meet the oldest-living American: Jeralean Talley at 115
Jeralean Talley, of Inkster, Mich., poses for a photo on Thursday, May 22, 2014. (AP / Detroit Free Press, Elisha Anderson)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, May 23, 2014 11:10AM EDT
INKSTER, Mich. -- The oldest-living American, a member of a select group of the living to have been born in the 19th century, is celebrating her 115th birthday Friday.
Jeralean Talley, who was born May 23, 1899, is the second-oldest person in the world, according to a list maintained by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world's longest-living people.
She went fishing last year and still gets around on her own with the help of a walker.
On her birthday, Talley is going to the doctor for a checkup, although she says she doesn't feel sick. The Michigan resident plans to celebrate with family and friends at a local church on Sunday.
Talley's knees occasionally hurt, her right hand shakes, she has a hard time hearing and her memory comes and goes.
Her answer as to why she has lived so long hasn't changed over the years.
"It's all in the good Lord's hands," Talley told the Detroit Free Press. "There's nothing I can do about it."
The Gerontology Research Group verified Talley's age using census data. Japan resident Misao Okawa, 116, is the world's oldest person, according to the group.
Talley, whose husband died in 1988, is cared for by a 76-year-old daughter who lives with her.
Five generations of the family are living in the area, including a great-great-grandson.