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Oldest woman's beef with bacon

THE world's oldest known living person celebrated her 115th birthday on Monday.

Gertrude Baines was honored at Western Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles with music, a letter from the president, and two cakes. Baines said little during the celebration as friends sang to her and she received a proclamation from Guinness World Records acknowledging her as the world's oldest person.

Born in 1894 in Shellman, Georgia, Baines became the world's oldest living person when a 115-year-old woman, Maria de Jesus, died in Portugal in January.

Baines' doctor said she only had two complaints. "Number one, she doesn't like the bacon. It's not crisp enough," Charles Witt said. "And the other thing is 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 father, born two years before the Civil War in 1863, was likely a slave, Young said. Baines has outlived her entire family. Her only daughter died of typhoid fever when she was a toddler.

Featured on television in November when she voted for Barack Obama, Baines said she backed him "because he's for the colored." She said she never thought she would live to see a black man become president.

Baines received a letter from Obama, wishing her a happy birthday.

Baines worked as a maid in Ohio State University dormitories until her retirement, and has lived at the Los Angeles hospital for more than 10 years.


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