Gerontology Wiki
Maggie Renfro
Maggie Renfro
Birth: 14 November 1895
Athens, Louisiana, USA
Death: 22 January 2010
Minden, Louisiana, USA
Age: 114 years, 69 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Maggie Mae Renfro (née Thornton; 14 November 1895 – 22 January 2010) was a validated American supercentenarian who was, at 114, the third-oldest living person in the United States and the oldest person in Louisiana until her death on 22 January 2010.[1] Renfro was also the fourth-oldest person in the world and the oldest African-American person from the death of Gertrude Baines on 11 September 2009 until her own death.[2][3]

Renfro claimed she was born in 1894, which would have made her the oldest person in the world at the time of her death. The 1900 census, however, places her as a four-year-old, born in November 1895; the 1910 census lists Renfro as aged 14 in April 1910, meaning she was born in 1895. Her social security record also listed her as born on 14 November 1895.


Maggie Mae Thornton Renfro was born in Athens, Louisiana, the fourth of eleven children of Wylie and Dellie Thornton. At the age of 19, she became a cook for a road crew. Soon afterward, she moved to Madisonville, Texas, and later to Houston, where she met her husband Rudy. The two had no children, and following his death in 1971, Renfro moved to Minden, Louisiana, where she lived until her death.

She attributed her longevity to being "a good servant for God." She once said "Love everybody; treat everybody right". She also never drank nor smoked. Renfro enjoyed good health even in advancing age, according to her niece and caretaker, Mattie Ellis. "I feel good," Renfro said in December 2007. "Nothing hurts me right now, and I'm not sick."

Renfro had two sisters who lived to be centenarians, Carrie Lee Thornton Miller (9 April 1902 – 5 January 2010), aged 107 at her death, and Rosie Lee Thornton Warren (6 January 1906 – 18 December 2009), aged 103. On 8 November 2009, Renfro and her sisters were recognized in a ceremony hosted by Cultural Crossroads at the Minden Civic Center.  They had the oldest combined age of three living siblings at 324 years.[4] Like Renfro, Rosie lived in the care of relatives in Minden, while Carrie lived in an extensive care hospital in Shreveport. All three siblings died within six weeks of each other.


Sitting left to right: Rosie Warren (age 104), Maggie Renfro (age 114) and Carrie Miller (age 107).