Category Archives: Past news

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World’s oldest person dies in Los Angeles at 115

LOS ANGELES – Although she liked her bacon crispy and her chicken fried, she never drank, smoked or fooled around, Gertrude Baines once said, describing a life that lasted an astonishing 115 years and earned her the title of oldest person on the planet.

It was a title Baines quietly relinquished Friday when she died in her sleep at Western Convalescent Hospital, her home since she gave up living alone at age 107 after breaking a hip.

She likely suffered a heart attack, said her longtime physician, Dr. Charles Witt, although an autopsy was scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

"I saw her two days ago, and she was just doing fine," Witt told The Associated Press on Friday. "She was in excellent shape. She was mentally alert. She smiled frequently."

Baines was born in Shellman, Ga., on April 6, 1894, when Grover Cleveland was in the White House, radio communication was just being developed and television was still more than a half-century from becoming a ubiquitous household presence.

She was 4 years old when the Spanish-American War broke out and 9 when the first World Series was played. She had already reached middle age by the time the U.S. entered World War II in 1941.

Throughout it all, Baines said last year, it was a life she thoroughly enjoyed.

"I'm glad I'm here. I don't care if I live a hundred more," she said with a hearty laugh after casting her vote for Barack Obama for president. "I enjoy nothing but eating and sleeping."

Her vote for Obama, she added, had helped fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing a black man elected president.

"We all the same, only our skin is dark and theirs is white," said Baines, who was black.

The centenarian, who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dormitories until her retirement, had outlived all of her family members. Her only daughter died of typhoid at age 18.

In her final years, she passed her days watching her favorite TV program, "The Jerry Springer Show," and consuming her favorite foods: bacon, fried chicken and ice cream. She complained often, however, that the bacon served to her was too soft.

"Two days ago, when I saw her, she was talking about the fact that the bacon wasn't crisp enough, that it was soggy," Witt said.

She became the world's oldest person in January when Maria de Jesus died in Portugal at 115.

The title brought with it a spotlight of attention, and Baines was asked frequently about the secret to a long life. She shrugged off such questions, telling people to ask God instead.

"She told me that she owes her longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around," Witt said at a party marking her 115th birthday.

At the party, Baines sat quietly, paying little attention as nursing home staffers and residents sang "Happy Birthday" and presented congratulatory notices from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others. But she laughed when told the Los Angeles Dodgers had given her a cooler filled with hot dogs.

With Baines' death, 114-year-old Kama Chinen of Japan becomes the world's oldest person, said Dr. L. Stephen Coles of the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks claims of extreme old age. Chinen was born May 10, 1895.

The oldest person who ever lived, Coles said, was Jeanne-Louise Calment, who was 122 when she died Aug. 4, 1997, in Arles, France.


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Farrah Fawcett has died after a long battle with cancer


 LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Farrah Fawcett has died after a long battle with cancer, Access Hollywood has confirmed.

Farrah died at 9:28 AM on Thursday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif.

She was 62.

"After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away," Farrah's longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, said in a statement to Access. "Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shar
ed with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world."

The actress, best known for her role in the '70s TV show "Charlie's Angels" and her iconic hair, was in the hospital earlier this month and a source close to Farrah told Access Hollywood at the time that she was not doing well.

While her condition was deteriorating, those closest to Farrah wanted to take her home for her final days.

Her death comes just days after O'Neal revealed he had asked Farrah to his wife.


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Tyson’s daughter, 4, dies day after accident

- The 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson died at a hospital Tuesday, a day after her neck apparently got caught in a treadmill cord at her Phoenix home, police said

Exodus Tyson was pronounced dead just before noon, police Sgt. Andy Hill said.

Exodus Tyson was pronounced dead just before noon, police Sgt. Andy Hill said. She had been on life support and police have said their investigation showed her injury on Monday was a "tragic accident."

"There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus," the family said in a statement. "We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."

Police said Exodus either slipped or put her head in the loop of a cord hanging under the console. Her 7-year-old brother found her and told their mother. She took Exodus off the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her.

Responding officers and firefighters performed CPR as they took the girl to the hospital.

Former heavyweight champion Tyson was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew Monday to Phoenix, where he was seen entering the hospital.

The family's home is in a modest, quiet neighborhood. Neighbors say they saw Tyson there from time to time and the children played outside regularly.

Dinka Radic, who lives across the street, says the little girl would ask her if she had any chocolate in the house. When Radic would get some and give it to her, Exodus would hug the woman's knees and "kiss, kiss, kiss."

The neighborhood contrasts starkly with the lavish lifestyle Tyson had through his tumultuous years of boxing, when he spent tens of millions of dollars and says he had millions more stolen from him by unscrupulous associates. During two years at the height of his career, he earned $140 million.

The death of his child in such an unusual accident adds an awful chapter to the boxer's troubled life.


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