A proud East New York threw a huge birthday party this week for the oldest person in the world.
Susannah Mushatt Jones, a Brooklyn woman, has reached a milestone by turning 116 years old Monday—the oldest living person in the world, according to Guinness World Records.
She was born July 6, 1899, just a little more than 30 years after the end of the Civil War. She was in her teens when World War I began, in her 40s when World War II started and 70 when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. A daughter of African-American sharecroppers, she survived 18 presidents and cast a vote for the first African-American President, Barack Obama. Jones attributes her longevity to no alcohol and no tobacco. She loves to chew wads of gum for hours on end.
“She’s blessed and she’s a blessing,” said her cousin and god daughter, Valerie Price, of East New York. “She has a good heart, loves her family and she’s so giving.”
A product of Lowndes County, Ala., Jones worked for years as a housekeeper in New York’s Westchester County and reportedly put several relatives through college.
More than 300 people packed a community center to celebrate her 116th birthday at Brooklyn’s Vandalia Avenue houses, a seniors-only development in East New York. Proclamations were read from U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York’s 8th District, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Inez Barron.