Born on the Fourth of July, 1898

Gertrude Weaver is part of a group that speaks to the power of female life longevity.

When you live as long as Arkansas’ Gertrude Weaver, the headlines become about who you have outlasted.

In July 2014, Time magazine informed that she had become the oldest living American. Today, it is USA Today contributor Matthew Diebel’s turn to announce that she is now the oldest living person in the world:

The daughter of sharecroppers who witnessed the Civil War, Gertrude Weaver was born in southwest Arkansas near the border with Texas and was married in 1915. She and her husband had four children, all of whom have died except for a son, now in his 90s.

Weaver lives at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Camden, Ark., about two hours southwest of the state’s capital city, Little Rock.

The 116-year-old Weaver is part of a very small group. The other three individuals still living who were born in the 1800s, also women, are Susanna Mushatt Jones (New York), Jeralean Talley (Michigan) and Emma Morano (Italy). Weaver became the oldest living person due to the death of Japanese resident Misao Okawa.

Update (April 7):
Weaver passed away on Monday, RIP.
[Photo: David Smart/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.