New "World's Oldest Person" lives in Iowa

Published On: Dec 05 2012 06:55:50 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 05 2012 06:55:00 AM CST
Besse Cooper
MONROE, Ga. (AP) -

The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper.

Cooper says his mother had been ill with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. He said she was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m.

She was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died in June.

A Guinness official says the title now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa.