Oldest Living Americans

12 Oldest Living Americans

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The current life expectancy in the United States is 78.69 years, which is relatively high. However, compared to the supercentenarians, people who are 110+ years old, on this list, 78.69 years is nothing. In fact, every single person on this list has lived over three decades longer than the average American! With the exception of CP Crawford, every person on this list is a woman, as women tend to have a higher life expectancy.

As of October 2019, this list is up to date and as accurate as possible.

12. Downing Jett Kay (November 23, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 111 years, 329 days
Birthplace:  Baltimore, Maryland
Current Location:  Baltimore, Maryland
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher

Downing Jett Kayphoto source: The Baltimore Sun

Downing Jett Kay is another 111-year old who will soon be turning 112. Kay has lived in Baltimore, Maryland her entire life and she is the state’s oldest citizen. Kay graduated from Maryland State Normal School (now Towson University) and went on to become a teacher and eventually the head of a preschool. Kay was married and had a unreported number of children.

Did You Know?

Every morning until she was 100, Downing Jett Kay drank the juice of half of a lemon mixed with warm water. She only stopped because she had “lived to be 100, and thought that was long enough.”


11. Bessie Hendricks (November 7, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 111 years, 345 days
Birthplace:  Carroll County, Iowa
Current Location:  Lake City, Iowa
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher

Bessie Hendricksphoto source: The Messenger

Bessie Hendricks is currently 111 years, but will be celebrating her 112th birthday in just a few weeks. Hendricks was born and raised in Iowa and never left the state. According to Hendricks, the secret to her longevity is “hard work,” which she has been doing her entire life. From a young age, Hendricks helped out on her family’s farm, while also attending school.

Hendricks later became a teacher, but quit after she married her husband in 1930. In addition to raising her children, Hendricks often worked on the farm she owned with her husband.

Did You Know?

Bessie Hendricks is still incredibly healthy and active and she continues to particpate in the Woodlawn Christian Church, where she has been a member for 92 years.


10. CP Crawford (August 25, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 112 years, 54 days
Birthplace:  Jackson, Mississippi
Current Location:  Lansing, Illinois
Previous Occupation(s):  Farm worker, dishwasher, oil refinery worker, and railroad worker

CP Crawfordphoto source: The Lansing Journal

CP Crawford is the only man on this list, making him the oldest living American man. Crawford was born in Jackson, Mississippi and was not allowed to attend school. Beginning at age 4, Crawford had various manual labor jobs, moving around the country as he went. Eventually, Crawford moved to Chicago when he got a job with the Illinois Central Railroad.

While Crawford never had any biological children, he did have six foster children.

Did You Know?

Algthough CP Crawford has been a Chicago White Sox fan his entire life, he never got to see them play until 112 birthday. The outing was a gift from Andrew Holmes, the executive director of Club 100, a non-profit that celebrates those 100 years and older.


9. Dorothy Brown (May 1, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 112 years, 170 days
Birthplace:  New York City, New York
Current Location:  Framingham, Massachusetts
Previous Occupation(s):  Retail worker

photo source: MSN

Dorothy Brown was born in New York and spent a majority of her life in the city until very recently. Brown lived in her own apartment until she was 101 and then into an assisted living facility. Her family moved her to Framingham in 2019 to be closer to them. Brown was a mother of three, but had a career as retail worker in a clothing store inside of Rockefeller Center.

Even after retiring, Brown did not slow down and worked as a volunteer at her parish and at Beth Israel Hospital in Brooklyn, where she crocheted blankets for premature babies and delivered yarn to her home-bound friends.

Did You Know?

While working in Rockefeller Center, Dorothy Brown’s customers included television celebrities, news people and movie stars, including Broadway star Carol Channing.


8. Ellen Goodwill (February 2, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 112 years, 258 days
Birthplace:  Paris, Kentucky
Current Location:  Battle Creek, Michigan
Previous Occupation(s):  Shop window dresser and model

Ellen Goodwillphoto source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Ellen Goodwill was born in Paris, Kentucky, but moved to Columbus, Ohio as a young adult. Goodwill worked as a model when she moved to Columbus and married Augustus “Gus” Goodwill in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1947. Goodwill’s husband died in 1972 and they never had children, nor did Goodwill ever remarry. Today, Goodwill still enjoys reading magazines and working on crafts.

Did You Know?

After moving to Battle Creek, Michigan, Ellen Goodwill became a shop window dresser and continued to work for several decades until her arthritis got so bad that she could no longer work.


7. Beulah Meloche (December 5, 1906)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 112 years, 317 days
Birthplace:  Chazy, New York
Current Location:  Ogdensburg, New York
Previous Occupation(s):  Child caregiver

Beulah Melochephoto source: NNY 360

Although Alelia Murphy is in fact the oldest New Yorker, in 2018, when Beulah Meloche celebrated her 112th birthday, it was reported by several news outlets that she was the oldest living resident of New York. Despite not being the oldest, Meloche is an impressive 112 years old and will be turning 113 in a few months. Meloche was born and raised in New York and worked as a caregiver for children, but never had any children of her own.

Did You Know?

Beulah Meloche did not move into a retirement home until she was 104, which means that she was well enough to mostly take care of herself for a majority of her life.


6. Louise Schaaf (October 16, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 113 years, 2 days
Birthplace:  Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Current Location:  Chicago, Illinois
Previous Occupation(s):  Unknown

Louise Schaafphoto source: abc7 Chicago

Louise Schaaf is the only person on this list who was born outside of the United States. Schaaf was born in Germany, but emigrated to the United States when she was just 22 years old and has lived here ever since. Schaaf still lives in her own home in Chicago, but receives help a few times a week from family and neighbors. Reportedly, Schaaf is still strong enough to occasionally cook and bake, two of her greatest passions.

Did You Know?

The last time Louise Schaaf was interviewed for her 110th birthday, it was reported that she had nine great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.


5. Thelma Sutcliffe (October 1, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 113 years, 17 days
Birthplace:  Omaha, Nebraska
Current Location:  Omaha, Nebraska
Previous Occupation(s):  Worked for the War Department in the 1940s

photo source: Gerontology Wiki

Thelma Sutcliffe was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and has never left her home city. Like a few of the other people on this list, Sutcliffe is still remarkably strong and reportedly exercises every morning, does her own laundry, and plays bridge several times a week. Additionally, Sutcliffe has survived two bouts of breast cancer. Although Sutcliffe was married, she never had any kids and she was widowed in the 1970s.

Did You Know?

Longevity runs in Irene Sutcliffe’s family; her younger sister lived to be 106 and her nephew is currently in his early 90s.


4. Irene Dutton (July 16, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 113 years, 94 days
Birthplace:  Kalamazoo, Michigan
Current Location:  Kalamazoo, Michigan
Previous Occupation(s):  Unknown

photo source: Gerontology Wiki

Not much is known about Irene Dutton other than the fact that she is currently 113 years old and was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she still resides. Dutton’s birth date has been verified by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). She is the oldest of four siblings and was married in 1931 to Edwin Dutton, whom she had two children with.

Dutton outlived her husband and now has two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Did You Know?

Irene Dutton has been the oldest living person in Michigan since the death of 110-year-old Ella Marsh on July 24, 2016.


3. Iris Westman (August 28, 1905 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 114 years, 51 days
Birthplace:  Aneta, North Dakota
Current Location:  Northwood, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher, elementary school librarian, and farmer

photo source: Grand Forks Herald

Iris Westman was born and raised in North Dakota and still resides there today. Along with the two oldest women on this list, Westman celebrated her 114th birthday over the summer. Westman grew up on a farm with her parents and three brothers, she had two sisters that passed away when she was a young girl. Although Westman never got married, she lived a fulfilling life and went to college, became a teacher, and later an elementary school librarian.

Did You Know?

Iris Westman still owns and rents out some of her family’s farmland that she grew up on, making her the oldest farmer in America.


2. Hester Ford (August 15, 1905 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 114 years, 64 days
Birthplace:  Lancaster County, South Carolina
Current Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina
Previous Occupation(s):  Farm worker and nanny

Hester Fordphoto source: Newsner

Not too far behind Alelia Murphy, who holds the No. 1 spot on this list, is Hester Ford, who also turned 114 this past summer. However, according to one news report, Ford’s family recently discovered a census record that lists Ford’s birth year as 1904.

Currently, this new information has not been verified officially, so she is still listed as 114. If the new record does get verified, Ford will be bumped up to the top of this list as the oldest living American.

Did You Know?

Although Hester Ford has dementia, she still has the ability to recite Bible verses and her favorite is Psalm 23.


1. Alelia Murphy (July 6, 1905 – Present)

Current Age (as of October 2019): 114 years, 104 days
Birthplace:  Grifton, North Carolina
Current Location:  Harlem, New York
Previous Occupation(s):  Homemaker and seamstress

Alelia Murphyphoto source: CNN

 

Alelia Murphy is currently the oldest living American at the age of 114 years and 104 days. Murphy celebrated her 114th birthday just a few months ago and by all accounts is still going strong. While Murphy was born in North Carolina, she has been residing in Harlem, New York since 1926. Murphy was married, but her husband died in 1956 and she supported her two children by working as a seamstress.

Did You Know?

To honor Alelia Murphy on her 114th birthday, officials in Harlem threw her a neighborhood-wide birthday party and declared July 6th, Alelia Murphy Appreciation Day.


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