Jones had died on Thursday night at a public housing facility for seniors in Brooklyn where she had lived for more than three decades. she had been ill for the past 10 days.
Jones was born in a small farm town near Montgomery, Alabama, in 1899. She was one of 11 siblings and attended a special school for young black girls.
When she graduated from high school in 1922, Jones worked full time helping family members pick crops. She left after a year to begin working as a nanny, heading north to New Jersey and eventually making her way to New York.
Family members said last year that they credited her long life to love of family and generosity to others. Judge said at the time that she believed it helped that her aunt grew up on a rural farm, where she ate fresh fruits and vegetables that she picked herself.
Jones became Guinness World Records’ official oldest person when 117-year-old Misao Okawa died in Tokyo last year.