114-Year-Old North Carolina Woman is Now the Oldest Living American

Hester Ford is at least 114 years old. She was born in 1905, or maybe 1904 — no one’s quite sure, according to WBTV, the Charlotte Observer’s news partner.

She’s also the oldest living American as of Nov. 23.

Ford succeeds Alelia Murphy, who died last weekend as the oldest living American at 114 years and 140 days old, CNN reported. Murphy was born in North Carolina but moved to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.

“She was known for her energetic jitterbug routines back then,” her daughter, Rose Green, reportedly told the health care workers’ union 1199SEIU earlier this year. Green was a long-time member of the union.

“It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of Mrs. Alelia Murphy,” the union said in a statement Wednesday. “Mrs. Murphy was the oldest living American, having celebrated her 114th birthday in July, surrounded by her family, friends, community leaders, and members of our AFRAM Caucus.”

Ford was born the youngest daughter of a farmer a little more than a month after Murphy’s birth and only a state away in Lancaster County, WBTV reported.

In 2018, the media outlet uncovered U.S. Census data from April 28, 1910, that listed Ford’s age as 5, meaning she could have actually been born in 1904.

At the time, she was the fourth oldest person in the United States.

But the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks and verifies supercentenarians — people who are at least 110 years old — still recognizes Ford’s official birth date as Aug. 15, 1905.

Ford has lived in Charlotte since 1953, where she raised 12 children with her husband, according to WBTV.

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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer, Hayley Fowler