The oldest person to have lived in the US has died at the age of 116.
On April 17, Hester Ford, from Charlotte, North Carolina, died after living over a century, WBTV reported.
Hester left 12 children behind, as well as 48 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and around 120 great-great-grandchildren.
She was born in 1904 in Lancaster, South Carolina, and was raised to work on a farm where she plowed the fields.
Hester married steelworker John Ford at the young age of 15. The two had been married for 45 years when John died in 1963.
Hester passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother Hester McCardell Ford today,” the family said in a statement. “She was a pillar and stalwart to our family and provided much-needed love, support, and understanding to us all.”
“She was the seed that sprouted leaves and branches which is now our family,” the statement reads. “God saw fit to make her the matriarch of our family and blessed us to be her caretakers and recipients of her legacy.”
“Her light shined beyond her local area and she lived beyond a century with memories containing the real-life experience of over 100 years,” the family continued. “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,” the family said. “She has been celebrated all over the world by local governments, community leaders, social media, foreign dignities, and Presidents as a cherished jewel of society for holding the honor of being the oldest living person in America.”
Rest in peace, Hester.