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Alelia Murphy, The Oldest Living American, Dies At 114

By Stephanie Ogbogu

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Alelia Murphy of New York was the oldest living American. The former seamstress and mother of two was 114 years and 140 days old.

On Wednesday, the United Healthcare Workers East shared the news of Murphy’s passing in a statement on Facebook.

Murphy was born in North Carolina in 1905. She was drawn to New York by the Harlem Renaissance and had lived in Harlem since 1926.

Murphy has seen a lot in her long life. She lived in the pre-civil rights era, where she had to enter restaurants from the back door and drink from segregated water fountains. Murphy was also born just a few years before Henry Ford introduced the Model T automobile in 1908.

At her birthday celebration on July 6 at the Harlem State Office Building, officials declared July 6 “Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.”

“Her strength, I don’t know where she gets it from. But she has been through so many things. She is the glue that holds this family together,” Murphy’s granddaughter, Nefer Nekhet said on her birthday. “And we ask her, we say, ‘Grandma, you’ve been here a really long time.’ She says, ‘I’m here because y’all don’t know how to live. I’m here to teach y’all how to live.'”

Murphy also credited her long life to God and treating people right.

Mrs. Murphy’s funeral services will take place at the United House of Prayer for All People in Harlem on December 6th.

Following Murphy’s passing, the current oldest person in the United States is Hester Ford of North Carolina at 114 years and 105 days old.

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