Rebecca Lanier at her 119th birthday.
24 March 1892?
13 August 2012
120 years, 142 days?
Rebecca Lanier (née Shambley; 24 March 1892? – 13 August 2012) was a American longevity claimant who claimed to be the world's oldest living person, but for whom mid-life evidence suggested was younger than the age claimed.
Rebecca Lanier claimed to have been born on 24 March 1892 in Mississippi, USA to slave parents. She grew up in Greene County, Alabama. She had two daughters, Beatrice Watts (7 April 1924 – 4 June 2004) and Aline Pitts (7 March 1928 – 21 June 2004). Her husband James died in 1961.
Rebecca Lanier died of liver cancer in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, USA on 13 August 2012, at the claimed age of 120 years, 142 days. She lived with her grandson Jimmy Shambley (aged 62).
She and relatives have sought to prove that she was the oldest living person, but the Guinness World Records has refused to recognize her for her age because she has no birth certificate. The Guinness recognizes 115-year-old Besse Cooper of Georgia as the world's oldest living person.
She was listed as 35 years in the 1940 US Census, which would make her year of birth 1905.