At 113, Goldie Michelson was the oldest person in the U.S., the Associated Press reported. But she died Friday, just short of celebrating her 114th birthday in August.
“It never occurred to me that I would live this long,” the Massachusetts woman told Clark University’s CLARK Magazine in a 2012 interview. “I just went on and on, and I’ve loved it.”
She was born in Russia in 1902 but moved to the U.S. as a child. She attended Brown University for her undergraduate degree and went on to pursue a master’s degree at Clark University, which was uncommon for women of her time.
Although she had become unwell recently, Michelson lived an active life, with a passion for arts and theatre that she pursued until she was 100. Walking four to five miles every morning ― and opting to walk rather than drive ― was what she called her secret to longevity. She didn’t smoke or drink, but she did have a weakness for chocolate.
Across the pond, the woman reported to be the UK’s oldest person, Gladys Hooper, also died over the weekend at the age of 113.
Currently, the oldest person in the world is 116-year-old Emma Morano of Italy.
“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she explained.