Jeralean Talley, the Oldest Living American, Turns 114

05/23/2013 at 06:45 PM EDT

Oldest Living American Turns 114
Jeralean Talley
Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press/AP
She was born on May 23, 1899. And she's still going strong.

Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Mich., turned 114 on Thursday. It's her first birthday since she officially became the oldest person living in the United States, after Elsie Thompson passed away in March at 113.

"I feel okay," Talley told Time magazine on the eve of her birthday.

Her secret to longevity? Watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Wheel of Fortune, listening to baseball on the radio, and enjoying her favorite foods – including potato salad, honey buns, McDonald's Chicken McNuggets and Wendy's chili.



While she spends most of her time sitting these days, Talley exercises by waving her arms and kicking her feet. (She bowled until she was 104.) She even still goes fishing twice a year with her good friend Michael Kinloch, 54, whom she met at church.

"She literally throws her line in, and I'll run over and try to pull in the fish," Kinloch says. "We do that routine until she gets tired of it, and then we'll head home."

Talley was married to Alfred Talley for 52 years until his death at 95 in 1988. She has three grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

She may be a supercentenarian (someone who has lived past 110), but relatively speaking, Talley is a spring chicken. The world's oldest living person, Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, turned 116 on April 19.

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