Born in 1905, Alelia Murphy will celebrate her 114th birthday Saturday in Harlem.
Family, friends and state officials are expected to honor Murphy Friday at the Harlem State Office Building, ahead of her birthday on July 6, according to 1199SEIU, a healthcare union where Murphy's daughter Rose Green is a retired member.
The Harlem resident became the oldest living American after a 114-year-old Ohio woman, Lessie Brown, died in January. Murphy was born in North Carolina and her age has been verified by the Gerontology Research Group in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
And the secret to her longevity? An active lifestyle, her nurse told the Manhattan Times News.
Described as a "gift from God" by her daughter, Murphy raised two children by herself after her husband passed away. The family has been living in Harlem for decades.
Several elected officials are expected to speak at her birthday celebration Friday, organizers said.
The world's oldest person is believed to be 116-year-old Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who lives on the southern island of Kyushu, according to the Gerontology Research Group.