Obit of the Day: World’s Oldest 25-Year-Old
Florence Beatrice Stevens Sorrell Smith died on January 10, 2012 weeks shy of her 26th birthday…well sort of. Mrs. Sorrell Smith was born on February 29, 1904 - a Leap Year baby. Based on all information available she was the oldest person in the world with the unique date of birth. She died at the impressive age of 107.
Mrs. Sorrell Smith’s father lied about his age to join the war. The Civil War. He was a fifteen-year-old soldier in the legendary 54th Massachusetts, the most famous Union regiment composed entirely of black enlisted men. Her mother grew up in antebellum North Carolina and was most likely a slave.
A graduate of Hampton University (perhaps the oldest alum of the college), she taught typing at the Tuskegee Institute for most of her career. She married twice, outliving both Mr. Sorrell and Mr. Smith. When she turned 104/25 she made the switch from manual to electric typewriter.
(Image of Mrs. Sorrell Smith at her birthday in 2008 is courtesy of her assisted living facility and published in wickedlocal.com.)
Note: Since there are no leap days in years that end in “00,” for someone to be older than Mrs. Sorrell Smith that person would need to be born on February 29, 1896. Since that would make them nearly 116 they would be one of the oldest people on the planet and would stand out.