Talley was born in Montrose, Ga., in 1899 and lived in Michigan for most of her life. She was married for 52 years to Alfred Talley, who died in 1988 at age 95.
What was her secret to longevity? Treat others the way you would like to be treated, she said. She also credited her faith.
She recently celebrated her 116th birthday, when she was read a special message by President Obama.
When asked about her age, Talley would often respond, "There's nothing I can do about it," WZZM reports.
The Gerontology Research Group considered Talley to be the world's oldest person, based on available records.
After Talley's passing, the oldest person in the world is Susannah Jones of Brooklyn, N.Y., who turns 116 in July. She, along with Emma Morano of Italy, are the only living people that the group documents as being born in the 1800s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.