America’s oldest person turns 114

The Country Arch Care Center in Pittstown, New Jersey, held a birthday party Monday for Adele Dunlap, the oldest person in the country.


According to The New Jersey Record, Dunlap wasn’t too impressed. When asked what she was thankful for, she responded, “Gee, how should I know?” She doesn’t bother with birthday wishes either. “I’ve never thought of such a thing,” she said. “I don’t wish for anything.”

Though born in 1902, she states she’s 105. The nursing staff say she still routinely shaves about a decade off her age when asked.

Dunlap became the country’s oldest person in July following the death of Goldie Michelson, of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Before marrying and settling down to raise three children, Dunlap taught school. Her husband died in 1963.

When she was born, Theodore Roosevelt was in office. She’s been alive to see 17 more presidents. There were only 45 states in the Union and the Wright Brothers were still about a year away from introducing the airplane.

She has no theories about her longevity. Her 86-year-old-son, Earl, is also at a loss. “It’s hard to say,” he told reporters. “She never went out jogging or anything like that. She’s not really thin, but she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She smoked, and when my father had his first heart attack, they both stopped. I think she ate anything she wanted.”

According to the Gerontology Research Group database, Adele Dunlap is the world’s ninth-oldest person. Italian woman Emma Morano-Martinuzz is the oldest at 117.