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As 114-year-old Los Angeles woman is today the oldest person in the world. Gertrude Baines, a resident of a nursing home near Exposition Park, assumed that title when a 115-year-old woman in Portugal died January 2. Baines was born in 1894 to a man and woman who were both slaves as children, and her birth came in the year that Grover Cleveland was president. Local newspapers featured a story about her when she cast a ballot for Barack Obama in last November's election.
The previous holder of the title, a 115-year-old woman in Portugal named Maria de Jesus, died quietly after breakfast last Friday, according to reports from there. Hospital officials said they are preparing for a flood of attention to their patient. The Los Angeles Times last November said her favorite occupations were eating crispy bacon and occasionally watching "The Jerry Springer Show."
The Guinness Book of World Records had said that prior to the Portugal woman's passing, Baines ranked number two.