MONROE, Ga. -- The woman who was listed as the world's oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper.

Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing. She was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said.

Besse Cooper was declared the world's oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.

Sidney Cooper said his family will likely hold a funeral for his mother later this week.

-- AP

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