114-year-old woman named the oldest living American

Elizabeth Francis with her oldest living Texan plaque

At age 114, Elizabeth Francis has accomplished a lot in her long life, and now she has marked one more milestone. Last week, she became the oldest living person in the U.S., according to LongeviQuest, a global organization that tracks and verifies human longevity.

The Houston resident turned 114 in July 2023, and for many years she was the second longest-living American behind Edie Ceccarelli. Ceccarelli died on Feb. 22 at the age of 116, making Francis the current oldest living U.S. resident, but also the fifth oldest in the entire world.

LongeviQuest presented her with a plaque honoring her as the oldest living Texan on her birthday last year, and “Good Morning America” was there for an interview. When they asked her how old she is, she quipped, “Oh I’m very, very young!”

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Over the years, Francis has shared her secrets for a long and happy life with local and national news outlets, but genetics could play a big part in her longevity. Her sister lived to be 106, and her daughter, Dorothy Williams, is still with her at the age of 94. Williams and Francis now live together in their home with the help of caregivers, family and friends. Williams is her only child, but Francis enjoys the company of her three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren (as of her 114th birthday).

It should come as no surprise that Francis’ healthy lifestyle also contributes to her long life. She doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and according to her granddaughter Ethel Harrison, has always made a habit of eating healthy.

“She always grew her vegetables in the backyard,” Harrison told ABC 13 News in Houston. “I never saw her go to a fast food restaurant much as like Chick-fil-A and all the places I liked to go. She never did that.”

Francis has now lived through two World Wars, not to mention a global pandemic and the terms of 20 United States presidents. Through it all, she has kept her faith and cited it when asked by ABC 13 reporters how it felt to be still experiencing the world at 114.

“I don’t know, I just thank the good Lord for keeping me,” she said.

Good News, Life, News, Seniors, Wellness & Fitness
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Tod Caviness
Tod covered everything from nightlife to Orlando's literary scene (yes, it has one) during his 11 years with the Orlando Sentinel. These days, he's a freelance journalist and recovering poet who lives in Central Florida with his lovely wife, two brilliant kids and one underachieving dog.

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