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123-YEAR-OLD DIES - PERHAPS OLDEST IN U.S.

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Susie Brunson, who may have been the oldest person in the United States, died at age 123 in Wilmington, N.C., her daughter said.

Brunson, who died Tuesday, was born in 1871 near the small community of Bamberg, S.C., her daughter, 84-year-old Mary McDaniel, said. She said the family believed her mother was the oldest person in the country, although they could not prove it.Brunson's birth date was not documented because no birth certificates were issued in South Carolina when she was born and a family Bible in which birth dates were recorded was stolen in 1932.

"I was grateful to have her all this time," McDaniel said, adding that her mother remained very alert until her death despite her advanced age. McDaniel had been living with her mother and took her to the hospital when she suffered heart failure.

Brunson left behind seven grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, 15 great-great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-great-grandchildren, her daughter said.