The recent death of 115-year-old Maria de Jesus in Portugal set everyone looking for the new title holder.
The honour now goes to 114-year-old Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles, one of only 82 super-centenarians (those above 110 years of age) in the US. Born to former slaves in a small town south of Atlanta, Georgia in 1894 -- she now lives in a Los Angeles nursing home. On her first day as the oldest person on Earth, she spent resting under the covers in her pajamas.
When asked why she thinks she has lived so long, she said "God. Ask him. I took good care of myself, the way he wanted me to."
She made headlines recently as the oldest African American to cast a ballot in the U.S. election. For the record, she voted for Barack Obama.