Written by Sìmone Stancil
Published on 19th April 2021
“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.” – Ford’s great-granddaughter Tanisha Patterson-Powe
Hestor Ford, a black woman and the oldest living person in America, passed away in her home on Saturday 17th April 2021. According to one set of U.S. Census Bureau, Ford was born in Lancaster County, South Carolina on 15th August 1904 whilst another Census states that she was born in 1905, making her 115 or 116 years when she passed away. She was married at the age of 14 to John Ford, a worker at a local steel mine. Hestor Ford had 12 children and was a grandmother to 68 children and a great-grandmother to 125 children.
Robert D. Young, director of GRG’s supercentenarian research and database division, remarked that Ford was the last living person in America to be born before 1906. In a report by the Gerontology Research Group, Hestor Ford is considered a super-centurion and one of ten of the oldest people in the world. In her lifetime, she lived through WW1, WW2, the Civil Rights Movement and many more historic events in American history. During an interview, Ford was asked the secret to her long life, her response was ‘“I just live right, all I know,” she said with confidence.”