Ezra Hill was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on 19 December 1910. His parents were James Hezekiah Hill and Alice Reid. Growing up in Baltimore in the 1920s, he played center field in the Negro Baseball League. In 1937, his mother lent him $50 to open a shoe store, offering the advice how there are enough doctors and lawyers, and how he should sell shoes. He named his business Avalon Shoes.
In 1940, he met Doris Cooper (born 3 December 1921), his future wife. They got married two years later, but in 1943, at the age of 32, Hill was drafted to fight in World War II. He was stationed in Normandy, France. While serving in France, a military truck weighing six tons mistakenly ran over him, where he recalls hearing the horrified driver telling the doctor he had accidentally killed him. However, aside from injuring his back, Hill managed to recover without any broken bones. After the conclusion of the war, he returned to his hometown of Baltimore and continued his career as a shoe salesman. After the war, he had three children: Doris Anita Hill (died in 1997), Constance Elizabeth and Ezra Edward Jr.
Hill was a lifelong member of Faith Baptist Church, as his stepfather, Rev. Simon Williamson served as one of the founding Pastors. Hill’s store was frequently visited by prominent figures during the Civil Rights era. He met Malcolm X during his visit to Baltimore, and both Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali in the 1960s.
Hill divorced in 1989, but he remained a good friend with his ex-wife until the end of his life. In the 1990s, he retired after around 60 years of work in his shop. He lived independently in Forest Park even as a centenarian, before deciding to move in with his daughter in Catonsville. He also drove until around the time of his 100th birthday in 2010. His ex-wife, Doris, turned 100 in 2021.
Ezra Hill died at the Loch Raven VA Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on 4 October 2022, at the age of 111 years, 289 days. He was the last known surviving American man born in 1910, as well as the last known surviving World War II veteran born in 1910. He was survived by two children, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
(Partially sourced from Gerontology Wiki)