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Oldest American dies at 114

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FLEMINGTON, New Jersey (AP) – Adele Dunlap, the oldest person in America, has died at age 114.

Dunlap died Sunday at a hospital near Flemington, according to the Martin Funeral Home. She became the country’s oldest person in July 2016 following the death of 113-year-old Goldie Michelson, of Worcester, Massachusetts.

The oldest known person living in the US now is 113-year-old Delphine Gibson, of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, according the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people older than 110 worldwide.

Dunlap didn’t have an explanation for her longevity, and neither did her children. Asked once how it felt to be the oldest American, Dunlap said, “I don’t feel any different.”

Dunlap was born Dec. 12, 1902, in Newark, though family and caregivers said she often gave a younger age when asked how old she was. The year she was born, Theodore Roosevelt was president, Cuba gained independence from Spain, the second Boer War ended, and the US bought the rights to the Panama Canal from France.

Dunlap taught school before marrying and settling down to raise the couple’s three children. Her husband worked for an insurance company and died in 1963.

“She never went out jogging or anything like that,” her son, Earl Dunlap, said when his mother became the oldest American. “She’s not really thin, but she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She smoked, and when my father had his first heart attack, they both stopped. I think she ate anything she wanted.”

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