Charlotte woman with 260 descendants celebrates another birthday as oldest living American

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Friday, August 14, 2020
Hester Ford celebrates birthday as country's oldest person
Hester was born in the early 1900s when Theodore Roosevelt was president. (Video courtesy WSOC)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hester Ford has seen a lot in her life, and she'll see one more birthday on Saturday.

The Gerontology Research Group said Ford, who lives in Charlotte, is the oldest living American.

Her actual age is up for debate. For a long time, Ford and much of her family thought she was born in 1905, which would make her 115 this year. A Spectrum News report states that census documents show Ford was actually born in 1904.

That would make her 116. Some numbers that are clearer - Ford has 12 children, 48 grandchildren and more than 200 great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

At her 2015 birthday, her son Joe L. Ford told WSOC "It's a blessing to be able to have a living mother at that age."

Ford was born in Lancaster, South Carolina. She's lived in Charlotte since the mid-1950s. Mayor Vi Lyles previously declared August 15 as "Mother Hester Ford Day."