Lester Townsend in March 2019.
Lester Townsend was born in Cairo, Illinois, USA, on 31 March 1908. He was the grandson of slave Syrus Henson and his wife Clovis Henson. His great-uncle was also a slave. Both his grandfather and great-uncle were sold at their master’s daughter’s wedding.
At the age of 108, in June 2016, Townsend met President Barack Obama. Both were honored to have met each other. Obama asked Townsend what his secret to a long life was, to which Townsend replied “Whatever they give me [to eat].”
Townsend died in South Bend, Indiana, USA, on 22 October 2019 at the age of 111 years, 205 days. At the time of his death, he was the oldest known man in the state of Indiana.
- Grandson of a slave, Lester Townsend (108), shakes hands with President Obama Daily Mail Online
- Wish Cousin Lester a Happy 110th Birthday! Facebook (since changed to 111th)
- ‘111’ years young Facebook, 31 March 2019
- Lester Syrus Townsend Obituary Palmer Funeral Homes