Strongsville woman officially now ‘oldest little person in world’

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STRONGSVILLE, OH - A Northeast Ohio woman is now in the Guinness Book of World Records.

"My dad was born in Cleveland in 1875 and my mother was born in Pennsylvania in 1886."

Winifred Ann Kelley is 93-years-old...making her the oldest living person in the world with dwarfism.

"It never even occurred to me that I was different. When I was in grade school, I was one of the gang."

Born in 1923, when Warren G. Harding was president of the United States, Winnie, as friends and family call her, grew up in Cleveland and Parma.

She says her parents and four siblings were all of normal size and stature. Winnie never married or had children but was career-driven, receiving a degree at case Western Reserve University and eventually her masters in psychology.

"And I worked for the Federal Reserve bank as a research assistant and then 25-years later, I went to the Veterans' Administration."

Two years ago, FOX 8 showed Winnie completing the final application process for the Guinness Book of World Records.

Local lawmakers assisted in the historic, yet frustrating feat, according to her niece and caregiver Mary Beth Petro.

"They need, um, from two people that have known her, her whole life. Like, they're all dead...they're just all dead, who do you find?"

But she is now the official record holder, taking the title away from a woman in Canada who was 86.

A car accident confined Winnie to a wheelchair a few years ago. She learned how to drive in her 70s.

As for her secret to longevity? She watches FOX 8 news every day, loves to read and even sneaks in a beer or two every now and then.

"What has happened is a fact. It's a fact of life that I'm alive at 94."

Winnie will celebrate her 94th birthday next month, July 31.

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