World’s oldest woman celebrates 115th birthday

Los Angeles, April 7 : Gertrude Baines, the oldest woman of the world celebrated Monday her 115th birthday at a hospital here with music, cake and a letter from President Barack Obama.

Baines received a proclamation from the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledging her as the world’s oldest person after 115-year-old Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus died in January.

In the letter, Obama wished her a happy birthday. Baines, who was born in 1894 in Shellman, Georgia, has said she plans to vote for Obama again in 2012.

Baines was featured on local television newscasts in November when she cast her ballot for Obama for president, saying she backed him “because he’s for the coloured”. She said she never thought she would live to see a black man become president.

“Her only complaint to me, well there are two complaints, number one, she doesn’t like the bacon. It’s not crisp enough,” her doctor, Charles Witt Jr, told local TV station KCAL9.

“And the other thing is that she fusses about her… arthritis of her knees. She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around.”

Baines, whose father was the son of slaves, left her family during childhood. She worked as a maid in University of Ohio dormitories until her retirement and has been living at the Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles for more than 10 years.

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