Hester Ford, Oldest Living American, Passes Away at 116

Cornelia Mascio
Апреля 20, 2021

"Although she has passed, her legacy and memory will continue to live on through her family and everyone she has touched to make the world a better place for generations to come", the statement said. She lived in the home with family until her death. Hester Ford died peacefully at her Charlotte home Saturday, leaving behind a family that includes 68 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, and at least 120 great-great-grandchildren. She later worked for years as a nanny. Census Bureau documents indicate Ford was born in 1905, but others show she was born a year earlier, making her either 115 or 116.

The woman who would go onto become the United States' oldest living person was born on a farm in Lancaster Couny in SC in 1905 (according to the conservative estimate of her age) and grew up picking cotton.

Ford was born when President Theodore Roosevelt was elected to his second term. She went on to marry John Ford and had 12 children - eight girls and four boys.

The couple moved to Charlotte, where she remained for the rest of her life.

"She not only represented the advancement of our family but of the Black African American race and culture in our country", the family statement said. Her husband died three years after the move at the age of 57.

"It is overwhelming, yet an awakening experience to realize my grandmother wasn't just an ordinary woman, she was E-X-T-R-A-ordinary", Patterson-Powe told CNN in an email.

That fall at 108 was the first time she had been hospitalized in her long life. Either way, she was the oldest living American when she died Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Charlotte, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks "supercentenarians".

She became the oldest living American after the death in 2019 of 114-year-old Alelia Murphy, according to the GRG.

Last year, commissioners in Mecklenburg County declared September 1 to be Mother Hester Ford Day.

"I live right, all I know", Hester McCardell once said when asked about her longevity.

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