Ford on her 115th birthday in August 2020
|Birth:||15 August 1905|
Lancaster, South Carolina, USA
|Age:||115 years, 153 days|
Hester Ford (née McCardell; born 15 August 1905) is an American supercentenarian who has been the oldest living person in the United States since the death of 114 year-old Alelia Murphy on 23 November 2019. Ford's family have claimed she was born in 1904, but she is validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) as having been born in 1905.
Hester Ford was born on 15 August 1905 in Lancaster, Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States to Peter and Frances McCardell. She worked on a farm where she not only planted and picked cotton, but plowed the field and cut wood. She married John Ford on 12 March 1921, when she was 15, and they had 12 children (eight girls and four boys, including Hattie Thomas).
Ford moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1953 where she worked for more than 20 years as a nanny. Her husband died at the age of 57 in 1963. She is a devout Christian and spent many years volunteering at her local church.
Ford now suffers from dementia, but she is still able to remember Bible verses. On her 112th birthday, she was able to recite the 23rd Psalm. The number of descendants she has is unclear; she has been reported to have up to 68 grandchildren, 120 great-grandchildren, and 126 great-great-grandchildren. However, sources vary as to the precise numbers. Ford still lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the age of 115 years, 153 days.
It is unknown as to the exact date when Ford became the oldest living person in North Carolina but it was most likely before she turned 110. Following the death of Alelia Murphy on 23 November 2019, Ford became the oldest living person in the United States. Ford is currently the 2nd oldest person ever to live in North Carolina (after Maggie Barnes).
Ford is currently the fifth-oldest person in the world whose age has been validated by the GRG. Since the death of Iris Westman on 3 January 2021, Ford has been the last surviving American validated as being born in 1905.
On 22 July 2020, Ford became one of the top 20 longest-lived people ever from the United States after surpassing the age of Mary Bidwell. She is also one of the 50 longest-lived validated people in history.
- Gerontology Research Group
- Hester Ford celebrates 109th birthday The Charlotte Observer, 28 September 2014
- Charlotte woman celebrates 110th birthday WSOC-TV, 15 August 2015 (via The Wayback Machine)
- Charlotte woman celebrates 111th birthday with hundreds of descendants WBTV, 17 August 2016
- Oldest living woman in NC lives in Charlotte, celebrates 112th birthday WBTV, 15 August 2017
- Charlotte woman turns 112 and can recite Psalm 23 without skipping a beat WCNC, 16 August 2017 (via The Wayback Machine)
- On 112th Birthday, She Perfectly Recites Psalm 23. Knows She’s Ready to “Be With Jesus” Liftable, 5 September 2017 (via The Wayback Machine)
- Oldest NC woman celebrates 113th birthday, but new info reveals she may be even older WBTV, 13 August 2018
- New info reveals NC woman may be the oldest living person in the US The Charlotte Observer, 14 August 2018
- Charlotte woman celebrates 115th birthday Fox46 Charlotte, 16 August 2019
- Hester Ford, possibly the oldest living American, celebrates her 115th birthday Newsner, 16 August 2019
- After death of oldest American, a 114-year-old North Carolina woman takes her place The Charlotte Observer, 29 November 2019
- This NC woman is turning 115. Or 116? Either way, she’s the oldest person in the U.S. The Charlotte Observer, 14 August 2020
- Live long and prosper: Hester Ford celebrates her 116th birthday The Charlotte Post, 19 August 2020
|United States' Oldest Living Person Titleholders (V • E)|
Clarida Roy • Mary Bittlebrun • Sophia DeMuth • Fannie Thomas • Nellie Spencer • Emma Wilson • Mathew Beard • Augusta Holtz • Mary McKinney • Florence Knapp • Orpha Nusbaum • Elzona Maxey • Alphaeus Philemon Cole • Birdie May Vogt • Ettie Mae Greene • Margaret Skeete • Wilhelmina Kott • Sarah Knauss • Myrtle Dorsey • Maud Farris-Luse • Grace Clawson • Adelina Domingues • Mae Harrington • Mary Christian • Elena Slough • Charlotte Benkner • Emma Verona Johnston • Elizabeth Bolden • Emma Tillman • Corinne Dixon Taylor • Edna Parker • Gertrude Baines • Mary Josephine Ray • Neva Morris • Eunice Sanborn • Besse Cooper • Dina Manfredini • Gertrude Weaver • Jeralean Talley • Susannah Mushatt Jones • Goldie Michelson • Adele Dunlap • Delphine Gibson • Lessie Brown • Alelia Murphy • Hester Ford