Pearl Cooper of Chicago celebrates 104th birthday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Pearl Cooper is full of life and abundant joy, perhaps the reason for her longevity. She turned 104 years old Wednesday and her family threw her a party at her Far West Side home to celebrate.

Pearl has lived in Chicago for more than half of her life. She was born in Mississippi in 1913 and picked cotton as a child. She moved to Chicago in the 1960s as part of the Great Migration, when hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved north to pursue better lives.

"She loved to cook and clean house. She stopped cooking maybe about four years now," her daughter Patti Toy said.

"She's always there when you need her. She's very supportive, a hard worker, family person, she's there for the whole family," said her son-in-law John Lofton.

Pearl has five children, who are in their 70s and 80s now. She also has close to 100 grand, great-grand and great-great-grandchildren. Some of them helped her celebrate this big day with lots of love and song.

Pearl said her secret is hard work, good food and the love of family. It's also in her DNA; her parents lived to be 94 years old. null
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.