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At age 115, Gertrude Baines is the world’s oldest person
By Sentinel News Service
Published April 9, 2009

Gertrude_Baines
Left to right: Ms. Baines’ physician, Gertrude Baines and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Ridley-Thomas Celebrates 115th Birthday  of Local Super Centenarian Gertrude Baines

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas today visited the Western Convalescent Home in Southwest Los Angeles to celebrate the 115th birthday of Gertrude Baines, the world’s oldest person, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

During a program filled with musical tributes and well wishes, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas beamed with pride that Ms. Baines – born April 6, 1894 – is a resident of the Second District.

“Gertrude Baines is a beacon in our community, who at 115 has demonstrated perseverance in the truest sense of the word,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.


The daughter of a man born into slavery and granddaughter of former slaves, Ms. Baines has lived through 21 presidents and seven U.S. wars.


Last November, she proudly cast her vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The only other time she voted in a U.S. election was for President John F. Kennedy.


Aside from arthritis and an inability to walk, Ms. Baines is relatively healthy and says she has never been seriously sick day in her life. Born in Shellman, Georgia, she is the third daughter of Jordan and Amelia “Amy” (Daniel) Baines, who were married in Terrell County Georgia, on January 1, 1887.


Ms. Baines married Sam Conly at a “very young age” and in 1909 gave birth to a daughter, Annabelle, who died of typhoid fever at age 18.


She later moved to Ohio, where she worked as a maid at Ohio State University, before relocating to California. She lived on her own until she was 105-years-old and now lives at the Western Convalescent Home in the West Adams area.


When asked what she credited to her longevity, Ms. Baines answered: “God. Ask him… I took good care of myself, the way he wanted me to.”
 

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