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Goldie Michelson

Gerontology Research Group
Validated By: Gerontology Research Group On Date: Jul. 25th 2015

Goldie Michelson (née Corash) was a Ukrainian-born American supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the United States for two months. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Michelson was born as Goldie Corash in Elizabethgrad, Russia (now Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine) on 8 August 1902. She emigrated to the United States aged two with her mother and two brothers, and settled in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father, Max Corash, had emigrated six months prior to open a dry goods store.

In 1924, Michelson graduated from the Women’s College of Brown University, and 12 years later achieved a master’s degree in sociology from Clark University. Her master’s thesis explored the ways Jewish immigrants integrated into the city’s way of life.

Shortly after her 1924 graduation, Michelson secured a position at the Worcester State Hospital, but turned down the job due to her father’s disapproval.

Michelson married her husband, David, in 1926, and had a daughter, Renee, in 1931. They were the first couple to be married at Worcester’s Temple Emanuel. She was involved in various Jewish women’s groups as well as setting up the David and Goldie Michelson Drama Fund with her husband. Clark University’s Michelson Theater is named after the couple. Michelson was widowed in 1974.

Michelson’s mother died in a car crash, and she later expressed sadness at outliving her siblings and friends. After attaining supercentenarian status in 2012, she received a congratulatory letter from then-President Barack Obama. At the age of 113, it was reported that Michelson’s health had declined.

Michelson died on 8 July 2016 at the age of 113 years, 335 days. She was the world’s oldest living Jew.

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Michelson’s age was verified by Anson Davis, Mark Muir, Elias Leivaditis, Jimmy Lindberg, and Wacław Jan Kroczek, and was validated by the GRG on 25 July 2015.

Following the 12 May 2016 death of Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, Michelson became the oldest resident of the United States. She was not, however, the oldest American citizen, as Marie-Josephine Gaudette, then 114, had retained her American citizenship despite emigrating to Italy in 1958. Following Michelson’s death, the oldest living person in the country was New Jersey’s Adele Dunlap.

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