Gladys Hooper shortly before her 112th birthday
|Birth:||18 January 1903|
London, England, UK
|Death:||9 July 2016|
Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, UK
|Age:||113 years, 173 days|
Gladys Ada Elizabeth Hooper (née Nash; 18 January 1903 – 9 July 2016) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom at the time of her death. She was also the last surviving British person born in 1903. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group.
Hooper was born on 18 January 1903 in Dulwich, London, England. 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 describing her as "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 the First World War. The couple had one child, Derek, who later became a pilot. Leslie died from Parkinson's disease in 1977.
Hooper 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 became a supercentenarian in January 2013. Her last surviving sibling, Joyce, died in 2014 at the age of 92. In October 2015, Hooper fell and shattered her right hip, and subsequently underwent an operation.
Hooper died on 9 July 2016 at the age of 113 years, 173 days.
On 15 January 2015, three days before her 112th birthday, Hooper became the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 114 year-old Ethel Lang. Following the death of 111 year-old Edith Kaufmann on 7 October 2015, Hooper also became the last surviving British person born in 1903.
At the age of 112, Hooper holds the record for the oldest person to undergo a hip operation; her October 2015 operation broke the record of John Randall who had hip surgery at the age of 102 in November 2011.
Following Hooper's death on 9 July 2016, Bessie Camm became the oldest living person in the UK. At the time, Hooper was the 12th-oldest ever British person on record.
- Gerontology Research Group
- All Validated British Supercentenarians Oldest in Britain
- Britain's oldest person celebrates 112th birthday Daily Telegraph, 17 January 2015
- Britain's oldest person celebrates 112th birthday ITV, 17 January 2015
- 112? I don't feel a day over 70, says Britain's newest oldest woman Daily Mail, 18 January 2015
- Gladys Hooper describes what she saw in the First World War Daily Mail, 18 January 2015
- Amazing life of Britain's oldest woman Daily Mail, 21 January 2015
- UK's oldest person, Gladys Hooper, dies aged 113 BBC News, 9 July 2016