The oldest living American, Alelia Murphy, dead at 114

The oldest living American passes away, Alelia Murphy.

Just months after celebrating her 114th birthday, Harlem resident, Alelia Murphy has passed away.

Murphy’s granddaughter Nefer Nekhet confirmed that her grandmother died on Saturday. The health care workers union, 1199SEIU, for which Nekhet is a member, released a statement on Wednesday announcing Murphy’s passing.

“It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Mrs. Alelia Murphy,” the statement read.”Mrs. Murphy was the oldest living American, having celebrated her 114th birthday in July, surrounded by her family, friends, community leaders, and members of our AFRAM Caucus.
According to CNN, Murphy, who was born in North Carolina in 1905, moved to Manhattan at the peak of the Harlem Renaissance and her involvement with community organizations, and her church over the years made her a local icon. After being widowed in 1953, she continued to support her children as a seamstress.

In July, her 114th birthday celebration in the Harlem neighborhood she had lived in since 1926 made national headlines as she was named the oldest living American. Murphy was surrounded by friends, family and the community that loved her dearly. July 6 had also been declared “Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.”

During the ceremony, New York state Sen. Brian Benjamin dubbed Murphy a “Harlem landmark.

“She is the glue that holds this family together,” Nekhet said of her grandmother at the time.

Though Murphy did not speak at the ceremony, she did have family reveal that she believed she had reached her major milestone because of God and “being a good person.”

According to CNN, Hester Ford of North Carolina, who also was born in 1905, now holds the title of the oldest living American.

As of Friday afternoon, it is not clear if officials have determined Murphy’s cause of death.

We send out sincerest condolences to Murphy’s family.

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