A woman celebrating her birthday this weekend is considered the oldest person in the US.
Hester Ford of Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrated her 116th birthday with some of her loved ones around her.
The mother of 12 is considered the oldest person living in the US, Subway reports, and joins the highly selective club of supercentenarians around the world who are 110 or older.
With 48 grandchildren, Hester leads a large family that has a total of 200 great-grandchildren.
She marked the event with a drive-thru birthday party with some of her family members on Thursday prior to her actual birthday, which fell on Saturday.
Hester Ford, from Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrated her 116th birthday this weekend, with some of her loved ones around her at a ‘drive-thru’ birthday party
Hester, who was born in South Carolina in 1904 before World War I, has become a celebrity in Charlotte, where she has lived for the past 59 years.
She is so well known in her community that Charlotte’s mayor, Vi Lyles, proclaimed ‘Mother Hester Ford Day’ on August 15, in honor of her birthday.
Hester herself is confused about how she managed to live so long.
She became the oldest US resident after the last title holder, New Yorker Alelia Murphy, died in November 2019 at the age of 115.
Alelia said she ate a banana for breakfast every day and did not require hospital treatment until 2008.
An undated family photo of the young Hester. The matriarch has had 12 children and has 48 grandchildren and 200 great-grandchildren among her current family members
Hester is the matriarch of a large family and can count among her living relatives 12 children, 48 grandchildren and 200 great-grandchildren.
She married her husband John Ford in 1918 when she was 14. John, who was a steelworker, died in 1963 at the age of 57, meaning she outlived him for 57 years and lived twice as long as he did.
At 116, Hester is the third-oldest living person in the world, after Japan’s Kane Tanaka, who turned 117 on January 2, and Lucile Randon, a French woman of 116 years old and only seven months older than Hester, who was born on February 11. 1904.
Hester herself said she had no idea how she managed to live so long. She is the third oldest person in the world
Hester celebrated her birthday with some members of her family and loved ones at a drive-thru birthday party
Hester is celebrating her big day with one of her 200 great-grandchildren. Hester has lived twice as long as her husband John, who died in 1963 at the age of 57
However, there is some debate about Hester’s exact date of birth.
She herself believes she was born in 1905, which would make her 115, but new documents discovered last year suggest she was born a year earlier in 1904.
If she was born in 1905 as she previously thought, Hester would still be the sixth oldest person in the world and still the oldest living person in the US.
The oldest person ever was Jeanne Calment, from France, who lived 122 and 164 days and died on August 4, 1997.
The oldest US resident was Sarah Knauss, of Pennsylvania, who lived to be 119 years old and died on December 30, 1999.