Gerontology Wiki
Gladys Hooper
Gladys Hooper
Gladys Hooper shortly before her 112th birthday
Birth: 18 January 1903
London, England, UK
Death: 9 July 2016
Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Age: 113 years, 173 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Gladys Ada Elizabeth Hooper (née Nash; 18 January 1903 – 9 July 2016) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the United Kingdom at the time of her death. She was also the last surviving British person born in 1903. Her age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group.


Early life

Hooper was born on 18 January 1903 in Dulwich, London, England. In 1916, she witnessed the German airship Schütte-Lanz SL 11 being shot down by Leefe Robinson, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. Hooper also met Thomas Edison, co-inventor of the lightbulb, when he visited her school.

Hooper went to college with aviator Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. They became friends, with Hooper describing her as "good fun" and "a very good friend". Hooper was also a concert pianist, and played with famous bandleaders such as Jack Payne, Debroy Somers, and Maurice Winnick.

In 1922, at the age of 19, Hooper married Leslie Hooper, who had been a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. The couple had one child, Derek, who later became a pilot. Leslie died from Parkinson's disease in 1977.

Later life

Hooper moved to Sandown on the Isle of Wight in 1979, to be closer to her family. She lived independently until the age of 101, when she moved to the town of Ryde, also on the Isle of Wight, to live with her son Derek.

Hooper became a supercentenarian in January 2013. Her last surviving sibling, Joyce, died in 2014 at the age of 92. In October 2015, Hooper fell and shattered her right hip, and subsequently underwent an operation.

Hooper died on 9 July 2016 at the age of 113 years, 173 days.

Longevity Records

On 15 January 2015, three days before her 112th birthday, Hooper became the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 114 year-old Ethel Lang. Following the death of 111 year-old Edith Kaufmann on 7 October 2015, Hooper also became the last surviving British person born in 1903.

At the age of 112, Hooper holds the record for the oldest person to undergo a hip operation; her October 2015 operation broke the record of John Randall who had hip surgery at the age of 102 in November 2011.

Following Hooper's death on 9 July 2016, Bessie Camm became the oldest living person in the UK. At the time, Hooper was the 12th-oldest ever British person on record.



United Kingdom's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Frederick Stabbins • Jane ListerMartha Truelove • Ann Sharp • Jane Raby • Frances Smith • William Walker • Ann Russell • Eliza Roff • Ellen Palmer • Rachel MacArthur • Rachel SwainMary Davey • Thomas Pope • John Francklow • Rebecca Lees • Sarah Fitt • Elizabeth Sellwood • Matilda Coppins • Elizabeth Whitehead • Emma Rooke • Margaret Lunn • Sarah Humphrey • Caroline BealeFanny Hopkins • Elizabeth Etheridge • Sophia Wellstead • Rhoda Harris • Emma Weeks • Edith Grellier • Mary WorthingtonJane Stoneman • Ellen Dart • Elizabeth Kensley • Hannah SmithJohn Mosley TurnerAda Roe • Alice StevensonElizabeth WatkinsFrederick Butterfield • Rose Heeley • Agnes Helyar • James Harrow • Sarah Morgan • Lilias WilliamsFlorence PannellJeanetta ThomasAlice Brewster • Anna Eliza Williams • Kate Begbie • Charlotte Hughes • Daisy Adams • Rebecca Hewison • Annie Scott • Rachel Wieselberg • Lucy Askew • Annie Jennings • Eva Morris • Amy Hulmes • Nellie Bradley • Gladys Hawley • Lucy d'Abreu • Judy Ingamells • Emmeline BriceAnnie Knight • Ada Mason • Florrie Baldwin • Eunice BowmanAnnie Turnbull • Elsie SteeleMargaret Fish • Violet Wood • Grace A Jones • Ethel Lang • Gladys Hooper • Bessie CammOlive BoarGrace C JonesGwen PayneHilda ClulowBob WeightonJoan HocquardLilian PriestGertrude KingstonMollie WalkerEthel Caterham