Evelyn Kozak, World's Oldest Jewish Person, Dies at 113

Born in New York City on August 14, 1899; her family moved from Russia to escape anti-Semitic attacks.

The world's oldest Jewish person, Evelyn Kozak, whose family fled Russia to escape anti-Semitism, has died at age 113.

Kozak died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack the day before, her granddaughter Brucha Weisberger said Thursday.

Kozak was the world's oldest documented Jewish person and the world's seventh-oldest person, said Robert Young, a senior database administrator at the Gerontology Research Group, an organization of physicians, scientists and engineers who validate supercentenarians, people 110 or older.

The world's oldest person, Misao Okawa, of Japan, is 115, the group said Kozak was born in New York City on Aug. 14, 1899. Her family had moved from Russia to escape anti-Semitic attacks.

She spent much of her adult life in Miami, where she ran a boarding house for many years, Weisberger said.

"She always said a good conscience was the secret to a long life," she added.

Though Kozak had no formal religious education, she was religious, keeping kosher and observing the Sabbath. When she was 110, she started covering her hair, as many traditionally orthodox Jewish women do.

Kozak was married twice but had been a widow since 1957. She had five children, 10 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.