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Antonia Gerena Rivera

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Antonia Gerena Rivera
File:Antonia Gerena Rivera.jpg
BornMay 19, 1900
Loíza, Puerto Rico, United States
DiedJune 2, 2015
(age 115 years and 14 days)
Miami, Florida, United States
ResidenceMiami, Florida, United States [1]
Other namesToña
Known forOldest resident in Florida
Children8
Parent(s)José Félix Gerena Agosto (father)
Basilia Rivera Viana (mother)

Antonia Gerena Rivera (May 19, 1900 – June 2, 2015)[2] was a Puerto Rican supercentenarian who, at the time of her death at the age of 115 years, 14 days, was the world's sixth oldest living person, and the third oldest American behind Jeralean Talley (died 15 days after the death of Rivera) and Susannah Mushatt Jones. Rivera is the oldest documented woman and second oldest ever verified person born in Puerto Rico and the oldest ever resident of Florida.[3][4]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Gerena was born to José Félix Gerena and Basilia Rivera in the town of Loíza, Puerto Rico and raised in Barrio Cubuy, Río Grande. She had 8 children. She was of Canarian ancestry. Antonia Gerena Rivera comes from a long lived family. Her brother Frank lived to the age of 105 and her sister, Maria, lived to 103. At 15, she had to leave home to marry, and at 16, she had her first child. In all, she had eight children, two of them survived her (Carmen and Fe) and has 27 surviving grandchildren.[4][5]

At one point, she had to raise the children alone on a farm while her husband (who died in 1943), fought in World War I. After the war, she worked as a schoolteacher.[5] She moved to Florida in the 1980s. Her family said that the family genes and regular brandy drinking until she was 110 were the reasons for her longevity.[5] Her family described her as a "strong and working woman".[4]

She holds the record for being the oldest Puerto Rican-born woman ever, and second-oldest person behind Emiliano Mercado Del Toro (1891 – 2007), and also holds the record for being Florida's oldest resident ever, surpassing Matthew Beard’s age of 114 years, 222 days, set in 1985 (Carrie C. White's claim to 116 in 1991 was later retracted when a subsequent investigation cast doubt upon her age).[4]

She died on June 2, 2015 at the age of 115 years, 14 days as the then world's fifth-oldest person (in fact, she was in sixth place because an anonymous Japanese woman, born 15 March 1900, was certified afterwards) and the third-oldest in the United States.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.oecd.org/pensions/private-pensions/48129952.pdf (Slide 51)
  2. Validated Deceased Supercentenarians
  3. "Oldest Floridan, Antonia Gerena Rivera, celebrates her 115th birthday". Retrieved June 10, 2015.[not in citation given]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Cohen, Howard (June 8, 2015). "Antonia Gerena Rivera, Florida's oldest woman, dies at 115". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Cohen, Howard (June 10, 2015). "Florida's oldest resident, 115, drank glass of brandy a day". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved 22 October 2015.


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