Bolden was born Aug. 15, 1890, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a Los Angeles organization that tracks the ages of the world's oldest people.
Guinness World Records recognized Bolden as the oldest person in the world in August after the death of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador, who also was 116.
Bolden died at the Mid-South Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home where she had been living for several years, said the center's administrator, Charlotte Pierce. Bolden suffered a stroke in 2004, and her family said she spoke little after that and slept much of the time.
Family members said this year that Bolden had 40 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 150 great-great-grandchildren, 220 great-great-great grandchildren and 75 great-great-great-great grandchildren.