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Oldest person of African descent casts historic vote for Obama

November 4, 2008 |  3:28 pm

When Gertrude Baines was born, Grover Cleveland was president, the American flag had 44 stars, and African Americans risked their lives to vote. Today, she cast a ballot for Barack Obama.

Baines, 114, is the world’s oldest person of African descent, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which validates claims of extreme old age. She is the third oldest person in the world, and the second oldest in the United States after Edna Parker of Indiana, who is 115.

She cast an absentee ballot at a convalescent facility west of USC. The ballot then was driven to the local polling place. "No, I didn't never think I'd live this long," she said.

-- Tami Abdollah