Although Laine Lee Sr., 107-years-old, has resided in the city of Los Angeles for over 50 years and is reported to be the oldest African American male to reach beyond 100 years old, he’s still living life like its golden.
Last year, Lee gained recognition from many prominent politicians like Councilman Bernard Parks and Supervisor Yvonne Burke who paid homage to Lee forliving beyond the standard years for people of color. As a matter of fact, at 100-years-old, he received a letter of recognition from the President of United States George W. Bush. On Saturday, June 21, friends and family will honor Lee at the Saint Anselms Catholic Church located at 700 Arlington Street in Los Angeles.
Currently, Lee attends the Morningside Adult Day Care Center for four days throughout the week. There, he plays bingo and interacts with his peers. Every Friday, his school throws a birthday celebration with live entertainment for those who have been blessed to see life everyday.
Born in a log cabin in Grove, Texas on June 25, 1901 and two generations removed from slavery, this individual has demonstrated life long commitments to his family and job as a Continental Trailways worker.
At 17-years old, Lee inherited the responsibility to raise his six brothers after his parents died, but that did not interfere with his life. Soon, he formed a gospel duet with his late brother Clarence Lee where they traveled to different cities and venues singing gospel songs like “ Hold On to God’s Unchanging Hand,” “Wade in the Water,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Precious Lord,” “Amazing Grace,” and “When I Come to the End of My Journey.”
He relocated to Los Angeles in 1956 to join his oldest living daughter, Sarah Houston who became married and had children. There he worked for the Continental Trailways Bus 6 for 44 years before retiring in 1977.
According to Houston, Lee was known as the entertainer.
“He was very content on entertaining himself with all kinds of little gadgets that kept him focused Houston said. “He has seen many people come and go and has lived to see history drastically change.”