Bernice Silver
Bernice Silver
Birth: 7 October 1913
Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, New York State, USA
Death: 18 April 2020
Englewood, New Jersey, USA
Age: 106 years, 194 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Bernice Silver (7 October 1913 – 18 April 2020) was a American centenarian who was one of the oldest victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bernice Silver was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, New York State, USA on 7 October 1913. Her parents were Sam Silver and Frances (née Resnikoff) Silver. She was the eldest of eight siblings. Her family was very poor, and moved often, finally ending up in a tenement on the Lower East Side. She never unmarried and not had children.

Silver was trained as a nursery school teacher. She also worked at factories making candy, Eskimo Pies and radios and later, in the 1940s, sold encyclopedias and hair care products door to door in California.

She learned activism and political theater in New York in the 1930s, joining groups that were part of the workers’ theater movement of the time and giving agitprop performances on street corners and in factories, sneaking in through windows and singing to striking workers. She joined the Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park in 2011.

She became the oldest known living puppeteer in the United States following the death of 102 year-old Nat Norbert Bucholz on 26 October 2014.[citation needed]

Bernice Silver died of acute respiratory failure after testing positive for COVID-19 at Englewood Health in Englewood, New Jersey, USA on 18 April 2020 at the age of 106 years, 194 days.



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