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This totally badass 107-year-old woman has the secret to long life: “I never got married”

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Christobel Hastings
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Bronx resident Louise Signore shared all the home truths to a long and happy life at her milestone birthday bash at the Bartow Community Centre in Coop City, New York.

Louis Signore is a powerhouse New Yorker who enjoys all the good things in life. She loves dancing and playing bingo. She loves good Italian food and the occasional glass of red wine. She’s an adventurous spirit who’s travelled the world and seen the sights of Europe. And she’s 107-years-old.  

If you just did a double take, take a moment to process the fact that Louise Signore, who was born in Harlem on July 31, 1912, and raised in the Bronx, is a totally badass centenarian who is very much living life to the full. And if you’re wondering how to reach triple digits yourself, Signore has shared her secrets to longevity, with one key detail: never get married and eat a Mediterranean diet. 

On Wednesday (31 July), Signore celebrated her milestone birthday at the Bartow Community Centre in Coop City surrounded by more than 100 friends and family members. And whilst she was eating cake and mingling with her guests, she got candid about the secrets to her remarkably long life.

“If they have exercise, I do the exercise,” she told CBS of the community where she lives. “If they have dancing, I dance. I still do a little dancing. After my lunch, I will play bingo.”

The Italian-American was born in a year filled with social and political revolution. President William Howard Taft was in office and Woodrow Wilson won the November presidential election, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean, and motorised film cameras marked a new era for Hollywood. 

And while her personal life has spanned many decades of change and upheaval, Signore credits her single relationship status as the key to a long, happy life. 

“I think the secret of 107…I never got married,” she remarked. “I think that’s the secret. My sister says, ‘I wish I never got married!’”.

Long life is a generational gift for the Signore family, as her sister has already reached the grand age of 102, while her mother lived to the age of 97.

“She doesn’t take any medicine! I’m 107 and I just take a high blood pressure pill, that’s all,” she continued.

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The centenarian also sang the praises of a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fish, olive oil, vegetables and whole grains.

“Italian food is very good for you,” she said. “I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.”

Signore’s long life is all the more inspiring given the adversity she has overcome in recent years. She is legally blind, recently recovered from pneumonia, and four years ago, at the age of 103, she was assaulted and robbed in her apartment building.

“She’s got no walking cane, no wheelchair. She does all her shopping. She’s awesome,” her friend Deborah Whitaker told CBS, while JASA’s senior director of senior services, Aisha Parillon, also praised Signore’s involvement in the community.

“I think that her connection with her neighbours in the community and also her friends here at the senior centre help to keep her going,” she said.

Here’s to many more milestone birthdays. 

Image: Getty

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.