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San Diego Woman Celebrates 108th Birthday

Laura Simon doesn't like to dwell on what she's lost in life.

Laura Simon says never in her wildest dreams did she expect to be blowing out the candles on her 108th birthday cake.

Photo by Don Harrison

108-year-old Laura Simon holds up her proclamation, declaring it her special day in the City of San Diego, Nov. 26, 2013.

At 108, she's grateful for what she's still able to do, including spending time with friends. Easily among the oldest living San Diegans, Simon was honored to learn that Nov. 26th -- her birthday -- has been declared Laura Simon Day in the city of San Diego.

The mayoral proclamation reads, "Whereas SImon has lived through much American history, one of her earliest memories was listening to news stories about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912."

Simon published her memoir, "I Am Still Here," at age 99, and is the oldest living author to have a book in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

She was an artist most of her life, until her eyesight failed at age 90, and then she began dictating her book. It took nine years to complete.

Some of her art work can be viewed the Women's Museum of California.

Simon has lost most of her hearing and vision. In the last year she had to trade in her walker for a wheelchair, but her mind is still sharp. Just last month she wrote to President Barack Obama asking him to play a bigger role in caring for senior citizens.

Simon has also been a frequent guest on KPBS Radio and TV. I first met her in 2008 — she was 104 — and invited her to be a commentator on a political affairs show after Obama was elected. She has lived through 26 presidential elections.

Laura Simon

KPBS videographer Katie Schoolov produced this video in 2011 when Laura Simon turned 106.

inewsource reporter Joanne Faryon is friend of Laura Simon's.

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