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BIOGRAPHY

King was born Lillian Bernice Derrick in Manhattan (New York City), New York, USA, on 4 April 1907. Her parents were Joseph and Maude Derrick. Her paternal grandfather was William B. Derrick (1843–1913), an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) bishop and missionary. Her father was born on the Island of Antigua in the British West Indies. She had two siblings, Dorothy Coshburn and William Derrick. She grew up in Flushing. She attended St. George’s Episcopal Church on Main Street with her sister until her teens.

After graduating from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a degree in costume design in 1928, she dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, but she instead focused on home life.

At some point, she married John A. King. The couple had one daughter who died shortly after birth in the 1930s. King was a founding member of the Patricians; an organization of Pratt Institute graduates active in the 1940s and 1950s that raised funds for underprivileged students. She spent 25 years designing children’s clothing. She traveled a lot along with her sister, including trips to Europe and Asia.

At the age of 105, she had a hip surgery. Prior to the surgery, she was physically independent.

King passed away in New York City, New York, USA, on 28 March 2019, at the age of 111 years, 358 days.

RECOGNITION

Her age was validated by LongeviQuest on 21 March 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* Bernice King, one of USA’s oldest women, dies at 111 – The Riverdale Press, 28 April 2019

GALLERY

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