The Higher Education Ties of the World’s Oldest American Women

jonesThe last American born in the nineteenth century died on May 12. Susannah Muschatt-Jones, a granddaughter of slaves, died at a nursing home in New York City at the age of 116. Her mother, a sharecropper in Alabama, reportedly lived to the age of 117.

After graduating from high school, Muschatt-Jones was accepted into the teacher education program at what is now Tuskegee University in Alabama. But her parents were unable to afford the tuition. After years as a domestic worker in New York, Jones used her savings to create a college scholarship fund at her high school for African American women who could otherwise not afford to go to college.

Now the oldest living American is said to be Goldie Michelson of Worcester, Massachusetts. She is 113 years old. Born in Russia in 1902, she came to the United States two years later. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in sociology from Clark University in Worcester. Michelson is believed to be the oldest Jewish person in the world.

Emma Morano-Martinuzzi of Italy, now 116 years old, is believed to be the only living person on earth who was born in the 1800s.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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