Gertrude Baines (April 6, 1894 – September 11, 2009) was an American supercentenarian, who became the oldest recognized living person according to Guinness World Records (upon the death of Portuguese woman Maria de Jesus) on January 2, 2009, until her own death on September 11, 2009, at age 115 years 158 days. She was the last surviving person documented as being born in 1894. Furthermore, she was the only person born in 1894 to live into 2009.
Baines lived in Los Angeles. Just before her 115th birthday, Baines was hospitalized and treated for dehydration, but she made a quick recovery. Aside from her arthritis and inability to walk, Baines was in good health until age 115. She was buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Born in Shellman, Georgia, Baines was the third daughter of Jordan (1863 – October 23, 1921) and Amelia "Amy" Baines (née Daniel), who were married in Terrell County, Georgia on January 1, 1887. She recalled that her earliest memory was a car ride to Canada.
Gertrude Baines married Sam Conley at a "very young age" and had a daughter, Annabelle, born in 1909,Template:Citation needed who died of typhoid fever at age 18. If alive, at the time of Baines death she would have been a 100 year-old person. In 1920, Gertrude Conley was recorded as living in Hartford, Connecticut. She later moved to Ohio, where she worked as a maid at Ohio State University, before moving many years later to California. She lived on her own until 1999 when she was 105 years old, and resided at the Western Convalescent Home in Jefferson Park, Los Angeles until her death. According to MSNBC.com, she enjoyed "simple pleasures" of eating a diet of bacon and eggs, and watched shows like The Price Is Right and Jerry Springer. She is the oldest person to watch Price is Right and Jerry Springer. Even though the max age is between 60-110, she is too old to be a contestant on Price is Right, she watched it.
On November 26, 2008, Edna Parker died, and Baines, aged 114 years 234 days, became the oldest verified living American and second-oldest verified person in the world.
On December 6, 2008, Catherine Hagel died, and Baines, aged 114 years 244 days, became the last living person verified to have been born in 1894.
On January 2, 2009, Maria de Jesus died, and Baines, aged 114 years 271 days, became the oldest verified person in the world.
On September 11, 2009, Baines died, aged 115 years 158 days, surpassing the lifespan of Emiliano Mercado del Toro by two days and becoming the 15th oldest validated person ever.
When asked to what she credited her longevity, Baines answered: "God. Ask Him... I took good care of myself, the way He wanted me to." She also said, "No, I didn't ever think I'd live this long."