When Eleanor La Motta was born, the Cubs World Series drought was only one year. There were only 47 states. William Howard Taft was president.
La Motta, who lives in North Salem, celebrated her 108th birthday last month surrounded by family and friends. Ever resilient, LaMotta recently overcame a bout with pneumonia.
"She's amazing," her daughter Fran Monti said. "She still has her facilities, she still votes. She watches TV and says her prayers."
La Motta attributes her longevity to good genes, a life of prayers and a healthy diet. Born in Manhattan on Oct. 13, 1909, she grew up in the city with her eight siblings, where she studied clothing design. She remembers her brothers driving her around in an old car and the influenza epidemic of 1919. She spent her summers at a beach house in City Island.
"She has fond memories of Manhattan," Monti said. "She walked all over the place. She played field hockey and swam in high school."
.She later moved to The Bronx with her husband and two children before settling in Heritage Hills. She has lived with her daughter Fran and son-in-law Bill since 2010.
"She can't believe she's this old," Monti said. "It's such a monumental number. None of us have ever met anyone that old."
La Motta had two children, six grandchildren, 13 great-great grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
"She's a very religious person," Monti said. "She says her prayers and watches mass on TV.
Monti said her mom is also an accomplished cook who makes a mean pot roast and ravioli. She also was great at sewing and loved going ballroom dancing with her husband, who she met when she worked in the office of her brother's business.
"She's kind and gentle," Monti said. "She's easy to get along with. It's amazing to still have a mother at this age. She's outlived everyone. I appreciate her being with us."
La Motta enjoys spending her time with her grandchildren and eat a balanced diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, with a small amount of coffee being her only vice.
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