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BIOGRAPHY

Greene was born in Wayside, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA, on 19 September 1877 (claimed 8 September). Her parents were Lewis Thomas (1825–1882) and Amanda Jane Green (1849–1891). Some of her uncles fought in the Civil War. Her father passed away when she was 4, and her mother when she was 14. Afterward, she was raised by her relatives. Before passing away, her mother taught her to quilt and use a spinning wheel.

In January 1898, she married Russell Ashby Greene (1872–1929). The couple had nine children: Pauline Amanda Lively (1899–1966), Roy Washington Greene (1901–1975), Guy Jennings Greene (1902–2002), Carl Hunter Greene (1904–1989), Hallie Monroe (1907–2004), Phyllis Blanche Turner (1908–1965), Ada Louise Dillon (1910–2013), Russell Ashby Greene (1916–2008), and Beatrice Frances Meadows (1919–1980).

At the age of 102, she moved into a nursing home in Beckley. At the age of 113, she said that a daily milkshake, a vitamin and good, clean living were the factors contributing to her longevity. It was reported that she never smoked or consumed alcohol.

Greene passed away in Lindside, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA, on 26 February 1992, at the age of 114. She was survived by four children, 21 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren, and 42 great-great-grandchildren.

RECOGNITION

On 15 June 1988, at the age of 110 years, 270 days, she surpassed the final age of Lucy Reynolds (1872–1983). This made her the oldest person ever recorded to have lived or passed away in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Her record remains unbroken to this day. Subsequently, she became the first individual in West Virginia to reach the ages of 111, 112, 113, and 114.

At the time of death, she was the third-oldest (known) living person, behind Jeanne Calment (France) and Charlotte Hughes (UK).

Age revalidation

Her age was initially validated by Guinness Book of Records in 1990s. However, in August 2023, after reviewing documentation discovered by Jimmy Lindberg, the Global Validation Commission reached the conclusion that Greene was more likely 11 days younger, born on September 19, 1877.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Ettie May Thomas Greene” – Find A Grave

* “Nearing 114, Ettie Mae Greene says ‘good, clean living’ have her long life” – The Daily News Leader, 4 September 1991

* “E.M. Greene, 114, oldest in Guinness” – The Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 February 1992

GALLERY

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