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Sarah Knauss

Sarah Knauss at age 115
Born Sarah DeRemer Clark
September 24, 1880(1880-09-24)
Hollywood, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died December 30, 1999
(aged &0000000000000119.000000119 years, &0000000000000097.00000097 days)
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Title America's oldest person
Spouse(s) Abraham Lincoln Knauss (December 19, 1878 – March 1, 1965)
Children Kathryn Knauss Sullivan (November 17, 1903 – January 21, 2005)

Sarah DeRemer Knauss (née Clark; September 24, 1880–December 30, 1999) was an American supercentenarian considered the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records from April 16, 1998, the date of the death of 117-year-old Canadian Marie-Louise Meilleur, until her own death. At age 117, she also set the record for the world's oldest "new" title-holder (which corresponds to the highest "valley" on a graph of the oldest living persons over time). Knauss is the second-oldest fully documented person ever, behind Jeanne Calment. She died 33 hours before 2000, the last verified living person to have been born before 1885.[1][2][3][4]



Sarah DeRemer Clark lived her entire life in Pennsylvania: she was born in a small short-lived United States coal-mining town called Hollywood and died in Allentown. In 1901, she married Abraham Lincoln Knauss (December 19, 1878 – March 1, 1965), a well-known Republican leader in Lehigh County.

Knauss was a homemaker and insurance office manager. Her daughter, Kathryn Sullivan (November 17, 1903 – January 21, 2005), who was 96 at the time of Sarah's death and lived to be 101 herself, once explained Knauss' three-digit age by saying: "She's a very tranquil person and nothing fazes her. That's why she's living this long."

In 1995, when asked if she enjoyed her long life, Knauss said matter-of-factly: "I enjoy it because I have my health and I can do things." Her passions were said to be watching golf on television, doing needlepoint, and nibbling on milk chocolate turtles, cashews, and potato chips. "Sarah was an elegant lady and worthy of all the honor and adulation she had received," said Joseph Hess, an Administrator of the Phoebe-Devitt Homes Foundation facility where Knauss lived.

At age 116, she was recognized as being the new United States national longevity recordholder, then thought to have been held by Carrie C. White (reportedly 1874–1991). It is now believed that the record should have been held by Lucy Hannah (1875–1993), who died aged 117 years and 248 days in 1993. In any case, Sarah extended the United States longevity record to age 119. Some scientific circles consider her to be the second-oldest person ever, though Guinness recognizes her as third, after Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) and the disputed Shigechiyo Izumi (reportedly 1865–1986) respectively. She is considered to have been the last living member of the Missionary Generation.

Knauss died quietly in her room at the Phoebe-Devitt Homes Foundation facility on December 30, 1999. Officials said that, to their knowledge, she had not been ill. In addition to her daughter, Knauss was survived by a grandson, three great-granddaughters, five great-great-grandchildren and a great-great-great-grandson.

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Preceded by
Marie-Louise Meilleur
Oldest recognized living person
April 16, 1998 – December 30, 1999
Succeeded by
Eva Morris


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