Oldest Living People in the United States

10 Oldest Living People in the United States (Updated 2020)

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According to several news reports, the current average life expectancy for the United States is 78.7 years – it’s 81.3 years for women and 76.3 years for men. At this time, the entire list features women because women tend to live much longer than men. Everyone on this list is a supercentenarian, which means they are over 110 years old! Nearly all of the super senior citizens on this list have had their ages verified by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s oldest people.

As of March 2020, this list is accurate and will be updated as needed.

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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 112 years, 122 days
Birthplace:  Carroll County, Iowa
Current Location:  Lake City, Iowa
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher and Farmer

photo source: The Messenger

Like Ermisna Theodore, Bessie Hendricks turned 112 years old in Fall 2019. At the time of this writing, Hendricks’ age is being reviewed by the Gerontology Research Group. Regardless of the age validation, Hendricks still has a sharp mind and knows that her birth year is 1907.

Hendricks’ family says that she Hendricks never lets stress get to her, which accounts for her long life and good health. Additionally, Hendricks says that hard work also keeps you young and strong.

Did You Know?

Bessie Hendricks and her husband Paul, were one month shy of their 65th anniversary when Paul passed away on May 25, 1995.


9. Ermisna Theodore (September 12, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020): 112 years, 178 days
Birthplace:  Haiti
Current Location:  Queens, New York
Previous Occupation(s):  Unspecified

Ermisna Theodorephoto source: MSN

Ermisna Theodore reportedly turned 112 last Fall, but her age is currently unverified by the Gerontology Research Group. However, Theodore’s family says that she was born in Haiti on September 7, 1907. Theodore moved to the United States in 1984 and has remained in the country since then. According to one of Theodore’s granddaughters, Rachel Theodore, the secret to her grandma’s longevity is simply resting.

Did You Know?

Ermisna Theodore’s primary language is Haitian Creole.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 35 days
Birthplace:  Paris, Kentucky
Current Location:  Battle Creek, Michigan
Previous Occupation(s):  Model and shop window dresser

Ellen Goodwillphoto source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Ellen Goodwill very recently turned 113 years old. Goodwill is the second oldest living resident of Michigan after Irene Dutton. Originally from Kentucky, Goodwill moved to Ohio as a young adult to work as a model. After Goodwill married her husband, Augustus Goodwill, in 1947, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan and has remained there since.

Did You Know?

For Ellen Goodwill’s 113th birthday, her friend Sharon Miller asked people to send Goodwill birthday cards to her home at the Advantage Living Center in Battle Creek.


7. Beulah Meloche (November 23, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 94 days
Birthplace:  Chazy, New York
Current Location:  Ogdensburg, New York
Previous Occupation(s):  Child caregiver

Beulah Melochephoto source: Watertown Daily Times

Although Alelia Murphy was older at the time (Murhpy recently passed away in 2019), in 2018, Beulah Meloche was recognized as the oldest person in New York. Technically, Meloche is the oldest New Yorker as she was born and raised in the state and never left, however, Murphy had been living in New York for over 60 years.

Meloche was honored by New York State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa for her longevity. Since Melcohe’s favorite treat is chocolate, the Hershey chocolate factory sent in enough chocolate bars for every resident in Meloche’s nursing home. Although Meloche can’t talk much anymore or hear all that well, she made sure to express her gratitude for the gifts and accolades with smiles and hugs.

Did You Know?

November 23rd is recognized as Beulah Meloche Day in Ogsdenburg’s municipality in honor of Meloche’s birthday.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 144 days
Birthplace:  Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Current Location:  Chicago, Illinois
Previous Occupation(s):  Unknown

Louise Schaafphoto source: Gerontology Wiki

Louise Schaaf celebrated her 113th birthday in the Fall of 2019. Schaaf was featured in the local Chicago news in 2017 when she celebrated her 111th birthday. The news also highlighted the fact that Schaaf has become an avid Chicago sports fan since she moved to the city decades ago.

Schaaf is originally from Germany and immigrated to the U.S. when she was 22 years old. After spending some time at Ellis Island, Schaaf came to Chicago and has lived there ever since. Schaaf married a man named Irwin Schaaf, who passed away 25 years ago.

Did You Know?

While Louise Schaaf is a fan of all of the major Chicago sports teams, her favorite team is the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 159 days
Birthplace:  Omaha, Nebraska
Current Location:  Omaha, Nebraska
Previous Occupation(s):  Worked for the War Department in the 1940s

Thelma Sutcliffephoto source: Gerontology Wiki

According to E.A. Kral of Wilber, who keeps track of age records in Nebraska, Thelma Sutcliffe is the 12th oldest person ever in the state’s history. Sutcliffe celebrated her 113th birthday in October at the senior living center in Omaha where she currently resides.

Sutcliffe has spent her entire life in Omaha and got married when she was 17. Her husband died in the 1970s and they never had any children. Sutcliffe’s family has a history of long life, her nephew is 91 and his mother, Sutcliffe’s sister, died at the age of 106.

Did You Know?

Thelma Sutcliffe worked for the War Department in the 1940s during World War II.


4. Minnie Whicker (July 24, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 228 days
Birthplace:  Arkansas
Current Location:  Roseville, California
Previous Occupation(s):  Homemaker

Minnie Whickerphoto source: www.grg.org

Minnie Whicker is currently the oldest living person in California at 113 years of age. Whicker’s date of birth was only recently verified by the Gerontology Research Group in August 2018.

Whicker was born in Arkansas, but has been living in California for a number of years with her family, who take care of her. In 1927, Whicker married a man named Roy Earnest Whicker in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Whicker was married to her husband for 67 years.

Did You Know?

Minnie Whicker has four children, eight grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and one great great grandson.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 113 years, 236 days
Birthplace:  Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Current Location:  Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
Previous Occupation(s):  Unspecified

Irene Duttonphoto source: Gerontology Wiki

Irene Dutton is one of several people in the United States who is currently 113 years old. Dutton was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan and has spent her entire 113 years in the same city! When Dutton was 24 years old, she married Edwin Dutton who passed away several years ago. Dutton and her husband had two children and the last time her story was covered, she had 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.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 114 years, 193 days
Birthplace:  Aneta, North Dakota
Current Location:  Northwood, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher, elementary school librarian, and farmer

Iris Westmanphoto source: Brainerd Dispatch

Iris Westman is currently the oldest person living in North Dakota and may also be the oldest farmer in the United States. Although Westman is no longer actively a farmer, she still owns her family’s farm and rents out some of the land. According to Westman, she is still a farmer because she still has a farm.

Westman was born and raised on her family’s farm in North Dakota. Despite her rural upbringing, her parent’s emphasized education because they had very little and Westman graduated from college in 1928. Westman was a teacher at various rural North Dakota schools while she went back to school to earn a library science degree. She went on to become a librarian in Minnesota and retired in 1972. Westman never got married or had children and returned to North Dakota in 1990.

Did You Know?

Iris Westman was the only girl out of four children and two of her brothers passed away when she was still a kid.


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

Current Age (as of March 2020): 114 years, 206 days
Birthplace:  Lancaster County, South Carolina
Current Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina
Previous Occupation(s):  Farm worker and nanny

Hester Fordphoto source: wbtv.com

Hester Ford believes that she was born in 1905 and that she is currently 114 years old, which makes her the oldest living person in the United States. However, some of her family members recently found census data that shows Ford may have actually been born in 1904. According to the census records from April 28, 1910, Ford is listed as 5, which would mean she was born in 1904.

When Ford was born, birth records weren’t a standard practice, so there’s really no way to know for sure if Ford was born in 1904 or 1905. Beside the newly found census info, Ford’s birthday is listed as 1905. Regardless of her real birth year, Ford is definitely one of the oldest (and most likely the oldest) living people in the country.

Did You Know?

Hester Ford still has an extremely sharp mind and excellent memory, which is demonstrated by the fact that she can recite several Bible verses, including her favorite Psalm 23.


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