The Gerontology Research Group validates Ophelia Burks (1903-2018) as the Oldest American and longevity record-holder of Louisiana

The Gerontology Research Group is delighted to announce the validation of Mrs. Ophelia Burks of Haughton, Louisiana, USA. She was born in Haughton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, USA on Oct. 25, 1903. She never graduated from the primary school as her family didn’t had enough money to buy a school supplies for each of their children. She married a local farmer, Prince Burks who died in 1989 at the age of 94. The couple had five children. She worked for 50 cents a day during the Great Depression. Ophelia Burks died in Haughton, Louisiana, USA, on September 27, 2018, at the age of 114 years, 337 days.

Burks’s age was verified by Robert Young, Waclaw Jan Kroczek, Johnnie Johnson, Shirley Johns, Anri Kusaku, and Oliver Trim, and validated by the GRG on 7 January 2020. Her validation was an extremely difficult task, and the best of GRG experts took part in it. After almost two years of research, the material amassed on Ophelia Burks case was fit on 85 pages of validation document. The GRG experts looked deep into the family’s history, trying to solve all the puzzles and leave as few blank spots as possible. Despite the difficulty, the evidence obtained was enough to conclude the validation process as meeting the modern scientific age validation criteria.

The validation of Ophelia Burks recognizes her folowing statuses:

  • The Oldest Living American (following the death of Delphine Gibson on May 9, 2018 until Sept. 27, 2018.
  • The oldest person in the history of Louisiana (previous record-holder Maggie Renfro (1895-2010)
  • The last surviving American person born in 1903