Childhood friends celebrate 100th birthdays, 91 years of friendship

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

On Saturday, September 29, Joseph Katz and Al Spiegal celebrated their 100th birthdays together in Lauderhill, Florida.

The birthdays aren't the only impressive milestones for the childhood pals: Katz and Spiegal have been friends for 91 years.

"We've been friends since we were 10-years-old. We both went to the same elementary school and we graduated from that same elementary school. We worked together for the same company and we kept our friendship together," Katz told ABC News.

Katz and Spiegal, both originally from Brooklyn, New York, held their joint birthday party at Inverrary Diner near their homes in Florida. Speigal's actual birthday was on August 26th, but he waited until his best friend's centennial celebration on September 29th to celebrate.

"We could not wait. We've been dying for this, even before my son was born my grandfather told us he couldn't wait until 2012," Katz's granddaughter, Melissa Teger, 42, said of the event. "I'd say, 'Why Grandpa?' And he'd say, 'Because I'm going to be 100.'  That was the driving force to keep him healthy and happy the last couple of years."

Teger made the trip from New Jersey with her baby boy to celebrate her grandfather's birthday.

Katz' son, Martin, told Local 10 that his father's independence has contributed to his long life:

"He lives by himself, he gets up, he makes his breakfast, makes his lunch, makes his dinner, it's the desire to live. If you put him in a nursing home, that would be the end of my pop."

Katz, who has 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, shared with ABC News his secrets to a long life:

"You don't reach 100 just like this. With your body, you've got to use it, not abuse it. Live the right kind of life. Take care of yourself," Katz said. "Eat the right kind of food. Don't smoke. Don't touch alcohol. Go ride a bike. Go ballroom dancing. Keep occupied and you'll make it."

He added one last piece of advice: "Just keep breathing, that's the secret to my longevity."

His best friend offered a more candid take on his age.

"I feel surprised that I'm 100," Spiegal told Local 10.