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Harlem Woman Turns 114, Believed to Be Oldest Living American

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    Harlem Woman Turns 114, Believed to Be Oldest Living American
    Courtesy: 1199SEIU
    Alelia Murphy, believed to be the oldest living American, turns 114 years old on July 6, 2019.

    What to Know

    • A Harlem woman, believed to be the oldest living American, will turn 114 years old on Saturday

    • City officials are holding a celebration for Alelia Murphy, born on July 6, 1905, at the Harlem State Office Building Friday

    • The world's oldest person is believed to be 116-year-old Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lives on the southern island of Kyushu

    Born in 1905, Alelia Murphy will celebrate her 114th birthday Saturday in Harlem.

    Family, friends and state officials are expected to honor Murphy Friday at the Harlem State Office Building, ahead of her birthday on July 6, according to 1199SEIU, a healthcare union where Murphy's daughter Rose Green is a retired member. 

    The Harlem resident became the oldest living American after a 114-year-old Ohio woman, Lessie Brown, died in January. Murphy was born in North Carolina and her age has been verified by the Gerontology Research Group in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

    And the secret to her longevity? An active lifestyle, her nurse told the Manhattan Times News.

    Lessie Brown, Believed to Be Oldest American, Dies at 114

    [NATL] Lessie Brown, Believed to Be Oldest American, Dies at 114

    Lessie Brown of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, died at the age of 114, according to family members. Brown was believed to be the oldest person living in the United States.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019)

    Described as a "gift from God" by her daughter, Murphy raised two children by herself after her husband passed away. The family has been living in Harlem for decades.

    Several elected officials are expected to speak at her birthday celebration Friday, organizers said.

    The world's oldest person is believed to be 116-year-old Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lives on the southern island of Kyushu, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

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