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Martha Graham
Born December 1844
Died June 25, 1959
aged 114 years c.180 days
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Known for Oldest person ever

Martha Graham (December 1844 – June 25, 1959) was an American supercentenarian who became the oldest person ever recorded, a title she held until the 1980s, when she was surpassed by Shigechiyo Izumi.


Life and longevity

Little is known about Graham's life. She was born in December 1844 into slavery.[1][2] Upon the death of Betsy Baker on October 24, 1955, Graham became both the oldest person in the United States and the oldest person in the entire world.[2] Sometime in July 1958, Graham surpassed Delina Filkins's 1928 record as the oldest person ever recorded.[3]

On June 25, 1959, Graham died, aged 114 years c. 180 days in Fayetteville, North Carolina.[1] Initially the Guinness Book of World Records believed her to have been 117 or 118 when she died, but this has since been proven false.[1][2] Succeeding her as oldest person alive was James Henry Brett, Jr., similarly from the United States.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c McWhirter 1982, p. 26.
  2. ^ a b c Folkard 2005, p. 22.
  3. ^ Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2004, p. 160
  4. ^ Folkard 2005, p. 23.


External links

Preceded by
Delina Filkins
Oldest recorded person ever
July 1958 – December 1979
Succeeded by
Shigechiyo Izumi
Preceded by
Betsy Baker
Oldest recognized living person
October 24, 1955 – June 25, 1959
Succeeded by
James Henry Brett, Jr.
Oldest recognized living woman
October 24, 1955 – June 25, 1959
Succeeded by
Christina Karnebeek


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