Gertrude Baines at her 115th birthday party in Los Angeles
|Born||April 6, 1894|
Shellman, Georgia, United States
|Died||September 11, 2009|
(aged 115 years, 158 days)
Western Convalescent Hospital, Jefferson Park, Los Angeles, United States
|Cause of death||Heart failure|
|Residence||Jefferson Park, Los Angeles|
|Known for||Oldest verified person in the world|
(January 2, 2009 – September 11, 2009)
Gertrude Baines (nee Conley) (April 6, 1894 – September 11, 2009) was an American supercentenarian, who became the oldest recognized living person according to Guinness World Records (upon the death of Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus) on January 2, 2009. She held this honor until her death on September 11, 2009, at the age of 115 years 158 days.
Baines lived in Los Angeles. Just before her 115th birthday, she was hospitalized and treated for dehydration, but she made a quick recovery. Aside from her arthritis and inability to walk, Baines was in good health until the age of 115. She was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery. After her death, Kama Chinen of Japan succeeded her as the world's oldest person. Chinen was 114 at the time.
She later married at a young age and had a daughter who died of typhoid fever at the age of 18. She didn't have any more children. In 1920, Gertrude Conley was recorded as living in Hartford, Connecticut. She later moved to Ohio, where she worked as a maid at Ohio State University, before moving many years later to California. She lived on her own until 2001 at 107 years old, when she was forced into assisted living after breaking her hip. She then resided at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles until her death. According to MSNBC.com, she enjoyed the "simple pleasures" of life; she ate a diet of bacon, eggs and black-eyed peas, and watched shows like The Price Is Right and Jerry Springer.
When asked to what she credited her longevity, Baines answered: "God. Ask Him... I took good care of myself, the way He wanted me to." She also said, "No, I didn't ever think I'd live this long."
At her 115th birthday party in 2009, a Dr. Witt said "She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and never did fool around." 
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- Bermudez, Esmeralda (2009-09-12). "Gertrude Baines, 115; gained fame as world's oldest person". Boston.com. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- Taylor, Francis (2007-12-09). "Gertrude Baines: Black Community Treasure at 113". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-09-02.[dead link]
- Abdollah, Tami (2008-11-05). "At 114, a daughter of former slaves votes for Obama". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
- Press, The Associated (2009-09-11). "Gertrude Baines, Oldest Woman in World, Dies at 115". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
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