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North Carolina woman is the oldest living American at 114



Hester Ford is at least 114 years old, but she may be 115. Photo from WBTV.

The oldest living American is at least 114 years old.

Hester Ford lives in Charlotte, N.C., and was born in Lancaster County, South Carolina, likely in 1905. She may also have been born in 1904, and she may be 115 years old. Birth records weren’t precise back then, especially for rural people who mostly were born at home with assistance from a midwife if they had assistance at all.

Census records from August 1910, uncovered by a WBTV reporter, lists Ford, then Hester McCardell, as 5 years old, putting her birth year in either 1905 or 1904, depending on her exact birth day, which isn’t known.

The Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and verifies people who are at least 110 years old recognizes Ford’s birth date as Aug. 15, 1905, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Ford was the youngest daughter of a farmer. With her husband, Ford raised 12 children in Charlotte, where she has lived since 1953. She has 58 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren and more than 120 great-great grandchildren, who call Ford “a living legacy.”

Ford succeeds Alelia Murphy as the oldest living American. Murphy passed away earlier this week at the age of 114. She was born in North Carolina in 1905 and moved to New York in 1926 during the height of the Harlem renaissance. CBS New York reports.

View Ford reciting the 23rd Psalm in 2016 at age 111.

The oldest living person in the world is Kane Tanaka, of Japan, who will be 117 on Jan. 2, 2020. She was born in 1903.

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