WWII vet celebrates his 100th and 25th birthday this leap year

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jim Cordell is almost 100 years old, but he's only celebrated his birthday on the actual day 25 times in his life.

The World War II veteran was born on Feb. 29, 1920, making him a leap-year baby.

His life story is rich in detail, experiences, and family. Cordell served his country in the Navy, held a successful career in oil and gas and even competed in the Senior Olympics. He excelled at pole vaulting and high jumping.

ABC13 sat down with Cordell and asked him for his best advice.

"Never give up. Keep active. Enjoy your life doing things in an active way," said Cordell. "It's been a hell of a good life, man. All 100. Some of them, tough. All 100 have been good."

He credited God and good genes for his long life.

Family and friends from across the country plan to travel to Houston for Cordell's 100th birthday celebration.

READ MORE: 100-year-old veteran's family learns of Normandy service 75 years later
WWII vet in Houston receives 100-year-old birthday cards from people across the globe

Follow Steve Campion on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.