Hester Ford, a North Carolina woman who was recognized as the oldest living American, died peacefully on Saturday in her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, her great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe confirmed.
Ford was at least 115 years and 245 days old at the time of her death, according to the Gerontology Research Group, who verified her as the oldest living American in 2019. Her family, however, told CNN she was born on August 15, 1904, which would make her 116 years old.
Ford was born on a farm in Lancaster County, South Carolina, in 1905, if you accept the more conservative estimate of her age.
She married John Ford at age 14 and gave birth to the first of her 12 children at age 15.
The couple moved to Charlotte, where she remained for the rest of her life. Her husband died in 1963 at age 57, three years after the couple moved to Charlotte. Hester Ford then lived in the home on her own, without assistance, until the age of 108, when she bruised ribs in a bathtub fall and her family members insisted on moving in to help. She lived in the home with family until her death.
Her 12 children gave her 68 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, and at least 120 great-great-grandchildren