Alelia Murphy, a 114-year-old former seamstress who'd been recognized as the oldest living American, has died.
Mrs. Murphy was the oldest living American, having celebrated her 114th birthday in July. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group. She was just two years younger than the oldest person in the world, Japanese man Kane Tanaka, 116. Alelia Murphy was born in North Carolina to a family of 12 in 1905 and moved to New York. She lived since 1926 in the Harlem section of New York City. New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin called Murphy a "Harlem landmark."
She was widowed in 1953 and supported her two children as a seamstress for most of her life. She had worked several jobs throughout her life, including working in a hat factory and becoming a top seller of cosmetic products. Her favourite hobby was reportedly dancing. When she turned 114 on July 6, officials in Harlem announced the day would now be known as “Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.” The cause of her death was not immediately available. A funeral service will take place on Dec. 6 at the United House of Prayer for All People, in Harlem. Hester Ford of North Carolina, who also was born in 1905, is now the oldest living American.