114 yo Elizabeth Francis Shares Her Secrets for a Long Happy Life


February 28, 2024

She is now the fifth oldest living person in the world!

At age 114 years old and 218 days (editor’s note: as of 2/27/2024), Elizabeth Francis of Texas has officially become the oldest living person in the United States, according to LongeviQuest, an organization that tracks human lifespans around the world.

Her advice for living a long, happy life? “If the good Lord gave it to you, use it! Speak your mind, don’t hold your tongue!” the supercentenarian told LongeviQuest. She also jokingly shared that she eats whatever she wants.


“Her life basically was pretty simple,” Francis’ granddaughter Ethel Harrison told TODAY.com. “She didn’t go out to parties and stuff like that. She was more of a homebody. She would go to church.”

Francis was born in Louisiana on July 25, 1909 and was raised by an aunt in Houston after the passing of her mother and father. She gave birth to her only child in 1928, and as a single mother, she worked at a coffee shop at ABC 13 News in Houston for approximately 20 years until her retirement in 1975. Francis has lived through two World Wars, the Spanish Flu, and the COVID-19 pandemic and credits her faith in God for her long life. She currently lives in Houston with her daughter where caregivers visit daily. She started using a wheelchair for mobility at age 108 and prior to that, enjoyed taking regular walks. 


Longevity runs in Francis’ family; her sister Bertha Johnson lived to the age of 106 before passing away in 2011, making them one of the oldest pairs of siblings in the world. Francis has one daughter, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. 

“It’s just amazing,” Harrison, 68, said. “We’re so grateful that she’s still here.”

Francis celebrated her 114 birthday last July at the home of her 94-year-old daughter, Dorothy Williams. In attendance were friends, well-wishers from the community, and multiple generations of Francis’ family. 


Cover photo: 114 yo Elizabeth Francis Shares Her Secrets for a Long Happy Life / Photo credit: Ethel Harrison

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