RIP Hester Ford
AMERICA’S OLDEST LIVING PERSON PASSES AWAY
Hester Ford, the oldest living American, passed away at her home in Charlotte, N.C., on April 17. Ford was at least 115 years old, though some records say she may have been 116. Ford lived through sharecropping, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression, World War I and II, September 11th, Jim Crow laws, the civil rights movement, and the coronavirus pandemic. She was alive during the terms of 21 presidents. Hester got married at 14 to John Ford, and they purchased a farm and started raising a family in Lancaster, S.C. According to NPR, “her family relocated from Lancaster to Charlotte after a family member was brutally killed in the 1950s and her great-grandparents worried what might happen next if they stayed. She notes that lynchings were prevalent.” Mrs. Ford had 12 children, four of whom are still alive, 68 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren and at least 120 great-great-grandchildren.
The Gerontology Research Group references that the oldest living person in the world is now Kane Tanaka, 118, of Japan. The next oldest is Thelma Sutcliffe, who is 114 years of age and lives here in the US in Nebraska.