Besse Cooper passed away in Monroe, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.
[Her son Sidney] Cooper said his mother had been ill over the weekend with a stomach virus, but then felt better on Monday.
On Tuesday, he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing.
He said she was put on oxygen in her room and died there at about 2pm.
She was declared the world’s oldest person in January. In May, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Mrs Valentin died on June 21.