World's Oldest Black Woman Dies After 'Living In God's Hands, In God's Time'

Louisiana Hines helped run a restaurant, worked as a riveter during World War II, raised three children and owned a beauty shop.

Her long life had another unique distinction. Before her death on Friday, the Detroit woman was the oldest living African-American woman and one of the oldest people in the world.

"She said she didn't have a secret" to longevity, said Hines' granddaughter Darlene House of Detroit. "(She believed) that she was living in God's hands, in God's time."

Hines' family has a birth certificate that says she was born on April 13, 1898, making her 114.

Robert Young, senior database administrator for the California-based Gerontology Research Group and a consultant for Guinness World Records, said census records from 1900 say Hines was born in April 1899, which would put her at 113. He said the birth certificate the family has is a delayed birth certificate that was issued in the 1940s when Hines was an adult.

Either way, Hines set records. Young said factoring her age at 113, Hines was the world's sixth oldest living person, the second oldest living American and oldest living African American, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She has been the oldest person in Michigan since March 7, 2010.

Young said Hines was just shy of making it into the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the world's top 10 oldest living people. The book's edition has a springtime deadline.

Young said the Hines' successor for the title of oldest living African American is believed to be a woman named Jeralean Talley, who is 113 and also lives in Michigan. He said the world's oldest person is Jiroemon Kimura, 115, of Japan.

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Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press
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