New Yorker celebrates its 104th birthday with a surprising diet

What is the key to a long and happy life? Hot dogs and chicken fingers.

Elaine Terry celebrated her 104th birthday on the Upper East Side on Wednesday surrounded by friends and family.

As one of New York’s oldest residents, Terry credits her long and healthy life to hot dogs, chicken fingers and love.

“My secret to living a long life is to love everyone. When I was younger, I would go to churches, synagogues and mosques to learn about different religions. It doesn’t matter what race or religion you are, love everyone,” she told the Post.

She is also keen on getting what she wants, when she wants it.

“I eat when I’m hungry – nobody tells me what to do,” she said. Terry also makes sure to walk at least 1 mile a day.

“My secret to living a long life is to love everyone,” Terry told the Post as she celebrated her 104th birthday on the Upper East Side.


Young Elaine Terry

She moved to New York at age 16 to pursue a career in show business and sang on the radio.


Terry was born in 1918 in Ohio. She moved to New York when she was 16 to pursue a career in show business.

She sang on the radio at first, singing jingles for commercials and bumping into Joan Rivers and the Rat Pack.

“My grandmother is an incredible woman. She’s lived a wonderful life and met so many people,” Terry’s granddaughter, Abigail Libby, told The Post.

Terry lived through the Spanish flu pandemic and contracted COVID-19 when he was 102, but nothing could stop him from eating hot dogs and chicken fingers.

Marilyn Terry, the New Yorker’s longtime daughter-in-law, nicknamed her “Energizer Bunny.”

“Grammy has incredible stamina. She’s always been active and a go-getter,” she told the Post. “She has a circle of friends and is up to date with the news of the day. She’s an avid voter. She is very involved in life.

Stepson Ross Libby, 36, of Rockland County Granddaughter Abigail and granddaughter Cooper, 20 months.  Elaine Terry celebrated her 104th birthday with friends and family
The 104-year-old is nicknamed the Energizer Bunny by her family.
Robert Miller

Terry still lives a full life with the help of RiverSpring Home Care Services. Suzanne Duffy, RiverSpring’s nursing manager at home, told The Post: “Elaine is an amazing testament to the power of positive aging and the importance of having your independence as you age.

And hot dogs, lots and lots of hot dogs.

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