OHIO-Despite the fact that the U.S. has recognized Rebecca Lanier as 119 years old, making her the world’s oldest person, Guinness is refusing to recognize her due to the fact that she had slave parents and could not obtain a birth certificate. The U.K. Daily Mail reports:
Because Mrs Lanier is black she was born with no birth certificate in the 1890s, which was normal in the South even though slavery had ended almost thirty years earlier.
This has caused problems as the Guinness Book of World Records needs that certificate to verify her age, which would make her the oldest living person in the world.
Mrs Lanier does however have a letter from the Social Security Administration that states the year of her birth as 1892, her grandson, Jimmie Shambley, 61, said.