Oldest American Dies

CLEARWATER, Fla. (April 1, 2013)—Elsie Thompson, who was the oldest person in the United States, has died at age 113, just weeks before her 114th birthday.

Thompson died on March 21, a spokeswoman from her church in Clearwater, Fla., said Monday.

The Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Thompson as the oldest living U.S. citizen after January's death of Mamie Rearden, 114, of South Carolina.

Thompson was born in Beaver Falls, Pa., on April 5, 1899.

Her husband, Ronald Thompson, was a Republican state senator in Pennsylvania, and in 1971, the couple moved to Clearwater, Fla.

Mr. Thompson died in 1986.

Mrs. Thompson is survived by her son, who is in California, and four grandchildren.

She often said the secret to her longevity was loving people and greeting each day with a smile.

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