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Gertrude Baines

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Validated By: Test Validator On Date: Feb. 10th 2023

Gertrude Baines was an American supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the world from the death of Maria de Jesus on 2 January 2009 until her own death on 11 September 2009.  Baines made history in 2008 when she, the daughter of former slaves, cast a ballot for U.S. President Barack Obama, the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office.


Born in Shellman, Georgia, she recalled that her first memory was that of being in a car ride to Canada. She later married Sam Conly at a “very young age” and had a daughter, Annabelle, who died of typhoid fever at age 18. Baines lived at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles when she died. She lived on her own until she was 105.

According to Baines, she never had a seriously sick day in her life until being hospitalized in July 2009. When asked what she credited to her longevity, she answered, “God. Ask Him…I took good care of myself, the way He wanted me to.”

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On 11 November 2008, Baines surpassed Carrie Lazenby’s (1882–1996) record of (114 years, 218 days), to become the oldest person ever who was born in the state of Georgia. She was also the oldest woman ever to pass away in the U.S. state of California. Ms. Baines was validated by the Gerontology Research Group. She was the last living person verified to have been born in 1894, and remains one of the 30 longest-lived persons ever.

She became the oldest living African-American following the death of Arbella Ewing on 22 March 2008, and the oldest living person in the United States following the death of Edna Parker on 26 November 2008.