Harlem celebrated the birthday of the oldest woman in the United States on Friday after Alelia Murphy turned 114!
Murphy was born in North Carolina on July 6, 1905, and moved to Harlem in 1926 at the peak of the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem community threw her a neighborhood-wide birthday bash on Friday and announced that her birthday will now be known as Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.”
State Sen. Brian Benjamin presented Murphy with a framed poster and a copy of the declaration while calling her a “Harlem landmark” during his speech. The supercentenarian’ — someone who’s at least 110 — involvement with community organizations and the church has made her a local icon.
“She is the glue that holds this family together,” her granddaughter Nefer Nekhet told CNN affiliate WPIX of her grandmother who has been widowed since 1953.
Though Murphy didn’t speak at her birthday celebration, her family said she credits her long healthy life to God and “being a good person.” Murphy’s daughter Rose Green said her mother doesn’t have any illnesses or ailments.
“I’m so proud of her and so glad to have her as long as I have,” Green said.
The Gerontology Research Group verified Murphy as the oldest woman in the U.S. She trails the oldest person in the world, Kane Tanaka of Japan, by two years and 185 days.