Joseph Eskenazi, oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor, turns 105
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - Joseph Eskenazi is the oldest living survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On Monday, he celebrated his 105th birthday, and on Sunday, his family and friends gathered to celebrated his "legendary" life.
Army Pfc. Joseph Eskenazi was born on Jan. 30, 1918, in New York City. More than a century and six American wars later, this World War II veteran isn't just surviving but thriving in Redondo Beach, which he's called home for nearly 70 years.
"He never, never got stressed over anything," said family friend Linda Candioty.
"He's cheerful. He wakes up and says, ‘Oh it's a beautiful day,'" said his daughter Belinda Mastrangelo.
Shortly before his birthday, Eskenazi was gifted with a trip to the World War II Museum in New Orleans, thanks to the Gary Sinese Foundation and Amtrack.
"I never thought at 105 I'd be toting after him," said Belinda Mastrangelo.
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Eskenazi's daughter and granddaughters said they love that the spotlight is on "Grandpa Joe" who they say has always been nothing but humble.
"We always call him a hero, and he always corrected me and said, 'I'm a survivor,'" said granddaughter Marcella Mastrangelo.
When asked what the secret to living into your hundreds, Eskenazi credited his active lifestyle and character.
"I don't let anything bother me too much," he said. "Just like a bird, they get wet, and they just shake it off."
Victoria and Joseph Eskenazi
Eskenazi also credited the love of his life, Victoria, to whom he was married for 74 years before her recent passing. His family said it's that love that has fueled him even since her passing a year and a half ago. For 74 years, he told her she was beautiful and kissed her goodnight every single day.
And that love of life has him hoping for a few more decades. His birthday wish — "I wish to live to be 120."