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Saturday, 18 April, 1998, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Don't worry - be happy (and 117)
old
Sarah Clark Knauss: reeling in the years
A 117-year-old Pennsylvania woman who hates vegetables and advises against worrying about age has been named the world's oldest living person.

Sarah Clark Knauss, a former seamstress, was formally given the title by officials from the Guinness Book of World Records, according to staff at the Allentown nursing home at which she lives.

Born on September 24, 1880, in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the great-great-great-grandmother has lived through seven U.S. wars, three presidential assassinations, the sinking of the Titanic, Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic and the Apollo space mission to the moon.

"Keep busy, work hard and don't worry about how old you are," the near-deaf Knauss said in a statement released by the Phoebe Home, where she has lived for the past seven years.

Relatives, who include a daughter in her 90s and a 48-year-old great-granddaughter, say she has been known to eat pounds of chocolate, potato chips, pretzels and candy while avoiding anything remotely resembling a vegetable.

Knauss was named the oldest living person after the death of a Canadian woman, Marie-Louise Febronie Meilleur of Corbeil, Ontario, who was older by less than four weeks.

See also:

17 Apr 98 | Americas
Oldest person in world dies
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