SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. — The lifespan of an average American man is 78 years, but by any standard, Augie Barberi is no ordinary man.
Barberi just celebrated his 107th birthday. Born in 1912, six years before the start of World War I, he has witnessed things that many of us only learned of through history books.
He is one of five children, born to Italian immigrants Augustine and Anna. They died when he was just a child.
“I lost my mother when I was only 11 years old,” he said.
Nineteen presidents have held office during Barberi’s time. His favorite?
“Truman. I remember as being one of the presidents I liked quite a bit,” Barberi said. “I thought he did a halfway good job. Some of them, not so good.”
Barberi’s wife Ida passed away in 1995. Their legacy includes two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Augie is long retired after a career working for General Electric.
His son Ray said his dad has always an easy going guy.
“He was always pretty much under control, never lost his temper. I think that’s probably one of the things that’s helped him live so long,” Ray said.
If you ask Augie about the key to his longevity, well he says it beats him!
“How in the hell can I figure that out?” he said. “What made me last this long? I don’t know. I worked.”
He also told WGN’s Patrick Elwood he has two glasses of red wine a day and eats lightly.