| Teacher|| Oldest living person|
| Besse Berry Brown|
August 26, 1896Sullivan County, Tennessee, U.S.
East Tennessee State Normal School (graduated 1916)
2 great-great-grandchildren (as of August 2012)
December 4, 2012, Monroe, Georgia, United States
Luther Cooper (m. 1924–1963)
Sidney Cooper, Luther Cooper Jr., Nancy Cooper Morgan, Angie Tharp
Richard Brown, Angie Berry Brown
Edward King Brown, Thomas Cecil Brown, Urcel Brown, Mary Lee Brown, Richard E. Brown, John Ralph Brown
John H. Berry, Sarah J. Emmett
Besse Berry Cooper (née Brown; August 26, 1896 – December 4, 2012) was an American supercentenarian who was the world's oldest living person from June 21, 2011, until her death. She was, at the time of her death, the eighth oldest verified person ever and the eighth person verified to have lived to the age of 116.
Cooper was born Besse Berry Brown in Sullivan County, Tennessee, on August 26, 1896, the third of eight children born to Richard Brown (1861–1932) and Angeline Berry (1866–1927). As a child, she was a keen scholar who read avidly. She graduated from East Tennessee State Normal School (now East Tennessee State University) in 1916, and worked as a schoolteacher in Tennessee before moving to Georgia around the time of the American entry into World War I in 1917. She taught in Between, Georgia, until 1929.
She married Luther Cooper (1895–1963) in 1924, and had four children with him. Luther died aged 68 in December 1963. Following her husband's death, Cooper lived alone on their farm until 2001, when she moved into a nursing home at the age of 105. She spent her final years in Monroe, Georgia. Cooper died of respiratory failure on December 4, 2012, after contracting stomach flu.
Cooper became Georgia's oldest resident on January 19, 2009, following the death of 113-year-old Beatrice Farve. On January 31, 2011, Eunice Sanborn died, and Cooper became the oldest living person in the United States. She was thought to be the world's oldest living individual until May 18, 2011, when Brazil's Maria Gomes Valentim was verified as older. On June 21, 2011, Maria Gomes Valentim died, and Cooper became the world's oldest living person. Cooper reportedly attributed her longevity to "minding her own business" and avoiding junk food.
At the time of her 116th birthday in August 2012, Cooper had four children, 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. In July 2012, a proposal was advanced to name a Georgia bridge in Cooper's honor; a bridge in Between, Georgia was named Besse Brown Cooper Bridge on August 24, 2012. In October 2013, Cooper's grandson Paul Cooper founded the Besse Brown Cooper Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to "providing financial, legal, medical and public relations support" for supercentenarians worldwide.
Cooper died on December 4th, 2012, aged 116 years, 100 days. After her death, 115 year old Dina Manfredini became the oldest living person, but died 13 days later.
Besse Cooper Wikipedia