Hester Ford
Hester Ford
Ford on her 115th birthday in August 2020
Birth: 15 August 1905
Lancaster, South Carolina, USA
Age: 115 years, 153 days
Country: United StatesUSA

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.


Early Life

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).

Later Life

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.



United States' Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Clarida RoyMary BittlebrunSophia DeMuthFannie ThomasNellie Spencer • Emma Wilson • Mathew Beard • Augusta Holtz • Mary McKinney • Florence Knapp • Orpha NusbaumElzona MaxeyAlphaeus Philemon ColeBirdie May VogtEttie Mae GreeneMargaret SkeeteWilhelmina Kott • Sarah Knauss • Myrtle Dorsey • Maud Farris-LuseGrace Clawson • Adelina Domingues • Mae Harrington • Mary Christian • Elena Slough • Charlotte Benkner • Emma Verona Johnston • Elizabeth Bolden • Emma TillmanCorinne 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 DunlapDelphine GibsonLessie BrownAlelia MurphyHester Ford

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