Alelia Murphy, 114, the oldest living person in America loves God, family and laughter

Alelia Murphy, 114, the oldest living person in America loves God, family and laughter

Written By Gabrielle Hudson // Human Interest // EEW Magazine News

The oldest living person in the United States is an African-American God-fearing woman who says the key to longevity is to “treat people right.”

On July 6, Alelia Murphy celebrated her historic 114th birthday, surrounded by family and friends at the Harlem State Office Building in New York.

"She always said God comes first," Murphy's 71-year-old daughter, Rose Green, told ABC. "And I found that to be true." Murphy’s family says her love for God and family has attributed to her long life.

Murphy was born in 1905, in North Carolina, and lived through the pre-civil rights era. Green recalls that her mom could not drink from the same water fountains as her white peers and was required to enter business establishments and restaurants through back doors.

Alelia Murphy was once a dancer who enjoyed being tossed in the air while jitterbugging at Harlems’ Savoy Manor ballroom. (Credit: Visiting Nurse Service New York)

Alelia Murphy was once a dancer who enjoyed being tossed in the air while jitterbugging at Harlems’ Savoy Manor ballroom. (Credit: Visiting Nurse Service New York)

Despite obstacles, Green said, "She always taught me to keep going, whatever happens.” Murphy who once worked in a hat factory and became a top seller of cosmetic products, is said to still have a great sense of humor.

"If you're around her, you're laughing all the time," Green said.

Aside from loving God, family, and laughing a lot, Murphy's visiting nurse, Natalia Mhlambiso, believes her healthy habits have built up her strength and endurance. Mhlambiso said there was no processed food when Murphy was growing up in the south, but even now, she continues eating well, and has stayed away from alcohol or drugs.

"She is where she is now because of what she did when she was young," Mhlambiso said. Murphy’s blood pressure is healthy, and she has no heart problems.

But, one thing she does have? A big smile on her face.

The Gerontology Research Group, a database that records the oldest humans in the world, has confirmed Murphy to be the oldest living person in the U.S.

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