Gladys Hooper shortly before her 112th birthday
|Birth:||18 January 1903|
London, England, UK
|Death:||9 July 2016|
Ryde, England, UK
|Age:||113 years, 173 days|
Gladys Ada Elizabeth Hooper (née Nash; 18 January 1903 – 9 July 2016) was a validated British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom from the death of Ethel Lang on 15 January 2015 until her own death on 9 July 2016.
Hooper was born on 18 January 1903 in Dulwich, South London. In 1916, she witnessed the German airship Schütte-Lanz SL 11 being shot down by Leefe Robinson, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. Hooper also met Thomas Edison, co-inventor of the lightbulb, when he visited her school. Hooper went to college with aviator Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. They became friends, with Hooper saying "She was good fun and a very good friend". Hooper was also a concert pianist, and played with famous bandleaders such as Jack Payne, Debroy Somers and Maurice Winnick.
In 1922, at the age of 19, Hooper married Leslie Hooper, who had been a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War 1. The couple had one child, Derek, who later became a pilot.
Hooper was married to Leslie for 55 years until his death from Parkinson's disease in 1977. She moved to Sandown on the Isle of Wight in 1979, to be closer to her family. She lived independently until the age of 101, when she moved to the town of Ryde, also on the Isle of Wight, to live with her son Derek.
Hooper celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming a supercentenarian, on 18 January 2013. On 7 February 2014, her age was validated by the Gerontology Research Group.
Hooper outlived all of her siblings after her the death of her youngest sibling Joyce in 2014, at the age of 92. On 15 January 2015, three days before her 112th birthday, she became the oldest validated living person in Britain after the death of Ethel Lang, who was 114 years old.
In October 2015, Hooper fell and shattered her right hip. She became the oldest person to have a hip operation later that month; at the age of 112, she broke the record of John Randall who had hip surgery at the age of 102 in November 2011.
- ↑ Britain's oldest person celebrates 112th birthday Daily Telegraph
- ↑ 112? I don't feel a day over 70, says Britain's newest oldest woman Daily Mail
- ↑ Gladys Hooper describes what she saw in the First World War Daily Mail
- ↑ Amazing life of Britain's oldest woman Daily Mail
- ↑ Britain's oldest person celebrates 112th birthday ITV
- ↑ Isle of Wight woman Gladys becomes Britain's oldest person Isle of Wight County Press
- ↑ UK's oldest person, Gladys Hooper, dies aged 113 BBC News