She's 116, and she just can't help it, world's oldest known person says

'There's nothing I can do about it,' Jeralean Talley, the world's oldest person, says of turning 116

A Detroit-area woman turned 116 Saturday, but she offers no secret for a long life.

"There's nothing I can do about it," Jeralean Talley of Inkster said before her birthday weekend.

Talley will celebrate her birthday twice, including a party Sunday at her church, New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist.

The Gerontology Research Group considers her to be the oldest person in the world, based on available records, followed by Susannah Jones of Brooklyn, N.Y., who turns 116 in July.

"You're more likely to the win the lottery than to reach this age," said Robert Young of the Gerontology Research Group.

Talley bowled until she was 104 and still likes to catch fish. A daughter, Thelma Holloway, tells the Detroit Free Press that her mother still has a sharp mind.

She was born in Montrose, Ga., in 1899 and moved to Michigan in the 1930s. Talley's husband died in 1988 at 95.

"Her No. 1 rule is to treat people how you want to be treated," said godson Tyler Kinloch, 21, who fishes with her. "I definitely carry that with me every single day."

Talley received $116 — a dollar for every year — at an event Thursday at a local office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The attendees included U.S. Rep. John Conyers. The Democrat is the longest-serving member in the House, but even at 86, he's three decades younger than Talley, who lives in his district.

"I thank you very, very, very, very much," Talley told the crowd.

Another 116-year-old woman, Gertrude Weaver of Camden, Ark., died in April. Weaver told reporters that the key to her longevity was being kind to everyone and eating her own cooking.

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