Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Hester Ford. Photo: qcitymetro

Hester Ford, the oldest person in the US

A North Carolina woman who lived through the Spanish flu, World Wars I and II, and the civil rights movement died Sunday, according to her family.

Hester Ford was either 115 or 116. Her family said U.S. Census Bureau documents suggest she was born in 1905, but another set of Census Bureau documents point to 1904, CBS reported. At either 115 or 116, Ford was the oldest person on record from the United States as of July 30, according to data compiled by the Gerontology Research Group.

Ford was born on a farm in Lancaster County, South Carolina. She grew up picking cotton and married her husband John at 14. They moved to Charlotte in 1960, where her husband died three years later and where Ford lived for the rest of her life.

"She was a pillar and stalwart to our family and provided much-needed love, support, and understanding to us all,” said her great-granddaughter, Tanisha Patterson-Powe, in a statement emailed to the Charlotte Observer.

Ford lived at home on her own, without assistance, until the age of 108, when she bruised her ribs in a bathtub fall. Family members then moved into her home to assist the supercentenarian.

In addition to her 12 children, Ford had 68 grandchildren, 125 great-grandchildren, and at least 120 great-great-grandchildren.

"She not only represented the advancement of our family but of the Black African American race and culture in our country. She was a reminder of how far we have come as people on this earth,” Patterson-Powe said.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, relatives and friends drove by Ford's house in North Carolina to celebrate her birthday in August, leaving presents on the driveway.

“I just live right, all I know," she told her granddaughter at the time.

The oldest person in the world is 117-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan.

The longest a human has ever lived is 122 years. Jeanne Calment, a French woman, died in August 1997, Usatoday reported.

Did You Know?

Hester Ford still has an extremely sharp mind and excellent memory, which is demonstrated by the fact that she can recite several Bible verses, including her favorite Psalm 23.

Top 10 oldest people in the United States (Updated 2021)

According to several news reports, the current average life expectancy for the United States is 78.7 years – it’s 81.3 years for women and 76.3 years for men. At this time, the entire list features women because women tend to live much longer than men. Everyone on this list is a supercentenarian, which means they are over 110 years old! Nearly all of the super senior citizens on this list have had their ages verified by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s oldest people.

As of April 2021, this list is accurate and will be updated as needed.

1. Thelma Sutcliffe

2. Ellen Goodwill

3. Florence Carroll

4. Maude Harris

5. Ermisna Theodore

6. Bessie Hendricks

7. Mila Mangold

8. Irene Dunham

9. Edie Ceccarelli

10. Christine Ireland

1. Thelma Sutcliffe (October 1, 1906 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: gerontology

Current Age (as of February 2021):

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska

Current Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Previous Occupation(s): Worked for the War Department in the 1940s

Thelma Sutcliffe was born in Benson, Omaha, Nebraska, on 1 October 1906 to August and Maude (née Adams) Liesche. On 3 September 1924, at the age of 17, she married Bill Sutcliffe in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The couple had no children and were married until Bill died in the early 1970s. Sutcliffe has survived two bouts of breast cancer over the course of her life.

At the time of her 110th birthday in 2016, Sutcliffe lived in a residential apartment in Omaha, Nebraska. She reportedly exercised every morning, did her own laundry, and played bridge several times a week. In 2017, Sutcliffe moved into an assisted living facility in Omaha. She celebrated her 114th birthday in October 2020. Sutcliffe's sister, Marie Kelso (1904-2011), lived to the age of 106, Gerontology cited.

2. Ellen Goodwill (February 2, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: woodtv

Current Age (as of February 2021): 114 years, 15 days

Birthplace: Paris, Kentucky

Current Location: Battle Creek, Michigan

Previous Occupation(s): Model and shop window dresser

Ellen Goodwill very recently turned 113 years old. Goodwill is the second oldest living resident of Michigan after Irene Dutton. Originally from Kentucky, Goodwill moved to Ohio as a young adult to work as a model. After Goodwill married her husband, Augustus Goodwill, in 1947, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan and has remained there since.

For Ellen Goodwill’s 113th birthday, her friend Sharon Miller asked people to send Goodwill birthday cards to her home at the Advantage Living Center in Battle Creek.

3. Florence Carroll (June 9, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: gerontology

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 8 months, 8 days

Birthplace: Millerton, New York

Current Location: Salisbury, Connecticut

Previous Occupation(s): Cook and homemaker

Florence Alice Antoinette Carroll is an American supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). She is one of the oldest known living people in Connecticut, USA.

Florence Carroll was born Florence Brunese in Millerton, New York, USA on 9 June 1907 to Italian-born parents Paul Emile Brunese and Mary Ann Brunese. As a young adult, she was a professional cook in Lakeville, Connecticut. She married John Carroll on 9 February 1930 and had nine children with him. As of her 107th birthday in 2014, four of her children were deceased. Florence also had 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. Her hobbies were birdwatching and gardening. On her 110th birthday in 2017, the Today Show included her in their list of people celebrating a milestone, Aginganalytics wrote.

4. Maude Harris (August 15, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: miamiherald

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 6 months, 2 days

Birthplace: Fertile, Minnesota

Current Location: Hialeah, Florida

Previous Occupation(s): Teacher, assistant librarian, and retail worker

Maude Harris was born in Fertile, Minnesota in 1907 to a Norwegian-born father and Swedish-born mother. During the Great Depression, Harris was fortunate to find work as a schoolteacher and even taught her youngest sister. As a young adult, while visiting her uncle in Portland, Harris met her future husband Guy Harris and the two had a whirlwind romance. After settling down in Washington for several years, Harris and her husband moved to Florida sometime in the late 1950s and she still lives in the state in a retirement home.

According to a local news interview from Maude Harris’ 111th birthday, she is still very active and sharp and she enjoys several hobbies including quilting, knitting, reading, and making jewelry.

5. Ermisna Theodore (September 12, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: oldest

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 5 months, 5 days

Birthplace: Haiti

Current Location: Queens, New York

Previous Occupation(s): Unspecified

Ermisna Theodore (born 12 September 1907?) is a Haitian-American supercentenarian who is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).

Ermisna Theodore claimed to have born in Jacmel, Sud-Est department, Haiti on 12 September 1907 (an article from 2016 says 7 September 1906). She has five sons, many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Theodore came to the United States in 1984 and lived in Far Rockaway since 2006. In 2011, she moved to Beach Gardens Rehab and Nursing Center. In September 2020, she celebrated her claimed 113th birthday.

Theodore's lifestyle is the key to her longevity, according to her granddaughter Miriam Adelson: "I know she lived healthily, she ate healthily, she was around a lot of families, gave a lot of love and she kept active like she just now recently just stopped walking (as of September 2019)."

Theodore currently lives at Beach Gardens Rehab and Nursing Center in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, USA.

6. Bessie Hendricks (November 7, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: farm-news

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 3 months, 10 days

Birthplace: Carroll County, Iowa

Current Location: Lake City, Iowa

Previous Occupation(s): Teacher and Farmer

Iowa’s oldest living person is still alive and in good health.

On Nov. 7, Lake City resident Bessie Hendricks continued to defy the passage of time, turning 113 years of age at Shady Oaks Care Center. Bessie received numerous birthday cards and many regards on her special day.

Originally born southeast of Auburn in 1907, Bessie’s family moved to a farm north and east of Lake City in 1908. Bessie attended a local country school, before shifting to Central School in Lake City, The Graphic-Advocate noted.

7. Mila Mangold (November 14, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: berkeleyside

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 3 months, 3 days

Birthplace: Nebraska

Current Location: El Cerrito, California

Previous Occupation(s): Secretary

At 113 years of age, Mila Mangold is currently believed to be the oldest living person in California. However, Mangold is not a California native and was born and raised in Nebraska. During the Great Depression, Mangold moved to Southern California, where she met her husband. The Mangolds moved to Berkeley in the 1940s and had one son, Donald.

Mangold was very active in her early 100s and even drove until she turned 95. According to neighbors, Mangold would often collect oranges that had fallen from her tree and would sometimes make marmalade for them. Since Mangold became a supercentenarian, she has been wheel-chair bound and lives in an assisted living facility.

Mila Mangold comes from a very long-lived family; her grandmother lived to be 95 and her sister almost reached 101, according to Oldest.

8. Irene Dunham (December 16, 1907 – Present)

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: lansingstatejournal

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 2 months, 1 day

Birthplace: Bath, Michigan

Current Location: Lansing, Michigan

Previous Occupation(s): Homemaker

Dunham was born Irene Babcock on 16 December 1907 to Duane and Mabel (Whitney) Babcock. She grew up on a farm located four miles from Bath, Michigan. She was the eldest of either eight or nine children (sources differ). She began attending Bath Consolidated School in seventh grade.

Irene Dunham is the second-oldest living person in Michigan, after Ellen Goodwill who is several months older. Dunham celebrated her 113th birthday a few months ago and is believed to be the oldest survivor of the Bath School Bombing, one of the deadliest school tragedies in American history. At the time, Dunham was 19 and in her last years of school. On the day of the bombing, she had a sore throat and stayed home, but her and her mother heard the loud noise from town. Several of Dunham’s siblings were at school that day, but thankfully none of them were hurt.

9. Edie Ceccarelli

Who is the oldest person in the US now? List of ten oldest American
Photo: pressdemocrat

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 75 days

Birthplace: Willits, California

Current Location: Willits, California

Previous Occupation(s): Homemaker

Ceccarelli was born in Willits, California, USA, on 5 February 1908. She was the first of seven children born to Italian immigrants Agostino and Maria Recagno. She married Elmer “Brick” Keenan and moved to Santa Rosa, California, where he worked as a pressman for the Santa Rosa Democrat. When he retired after 36 years, they returned to Willits. After her husband's death in 1984, she married Charles Ceccarelli in 1986. He died in 1990.

Ceccarelli currently lives in Willits, California. She lived in her own home until the age of 107, after which she moved into a senior living center. She became a supercentenarian in February 2018 and celebrated her 111th birthday in February 2019.

10. Christine Ireland (January 19, 1908 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113, 29 days

Birthplace: Cumberland, North Carolina

Current Location: Burlington, North Carolina

Previous Occupation(s): Teacher and homemaker

Christine Ireland celebrated her 113th birthday at the beginning of 2021 and her age is currently being validated by the Gerontology Research Group. Ireland was born and raised on a farm in North Carolina. She attended high school at Immanu Lutheran High School in Greensboro and became a teacher in 1931. After Ireland got married, she became a homemaker, raising and educating her children. According to her son, Ireland made sure that all her children could read and write before formally starting school. Today, Ireland lives in a nursing facility in Burlington, North Carolina.

Christine Ireland’s younger sister is also still alive at the age of 95.

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