Besse Cooper was born Bese Berry Brown on August 26, 1896 in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Her parents were Richard Brown (1861-1932) and Angeline Berry (1866-1927) and was the third of eight children.She graduated from East Tennessee Normal School in 1916. Besse Cooper became a teacher during her young adult years. She taught in Tennessee. She moved to Georgia around the time America entered World War I in 1917. She then taught in Between, Georgia until 1929. In 1924, Besse Cooper married Luther Cooper and had 4 children with him: Angeline, Luther Jr., Sydney, and Nancy. Their first child was born in 1929 and their last in 1944. Her husband, Luther died in 1963. Besse Cooper has made a lot of milestones in her longevity including:
Besse Cooper continued to live on her farm until the age of 105 when she moved into a nursing home.
Besse Cooper contributes her long life to "minding her own business" and avoiding junk food.