Oldest American announced after Florida woman dies

113-year-old from Detroit area replaces 114-year-old Clearwater woman

Published On: Apr 03 2013 10:41:55 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 03 2013 12:33:15 PM EDT
INKSTER, Mich. -

A 113-year-old woman from the Detroit area became the oldest person in the U.S. when a Florida woman of the same age died last month.

According to the Gerontology Research Group, Jeralean Talley of Inkster is the third-oldest person in the world.

She earned the title of oldest American when Elsie Thompson of Clearwater, Fla., died March 21, just weeks before her 114th birthday.

Talley was born May 23, 1899, in Montrose, Ga.

When asked why she thinks she has lived so long, Talley lifted her arm and pointed to the sky, telling the Detroit Free Press: "Don't ask me. Ask Him."

The Gerontology Research Group verifies age information for Guinness World Records. It says the world's two oldest people are 115 and live in Japan.