Local Leap Day baby turns 108

- On February 29, 2016, Annie Lee Bell turns 108 years old, but it is only the 27th time she can actually celebrate her birthday on the actual date.  

"You eat right, it'll sure help you live a long time," Bell said. The Daytona Beach great, great, great grandmother says her secret to living a long life is eating right and having a strong faith. 

Annie was born in Georgia on February 29th, 1908.  She has lived through both World Wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement and so much more, but her family says she's always lived a simple life. "She kept it simple and I think that has contributed to no stress, no aggravation," says granddaughter Dale Hayes.  

Hayes is among Bell's 42 grandchildren.  Bell has over 100 great grandchildren as well.  "Oh God what a blessing she is to us; lots of wisdom, knowledgeable because she still recognizes us. When you walk in the room she knows us by name," Hayes said. 

Hayes says her grandmother has never smoked or drank alcohol.  She's also been a vegetarian for more than half a century.  

After turning 100 Bell received countless awards, birthday cards, and other gifts.  Three years ago, on her 105th birthday, President Obama personally wrote her a birthday letter. 

When asked how she is feeling now, Bell responded, "I feel like a young chick today.  I took care of myself when I was young; don't do what young folks do today."

 

 

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