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Jewish Journal

Centenarian Inspiration

by Charlotte Hildebrand

November 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

Sam Dabby was 100 years old on Nov. 5, but he waited to celebrate with members of his family and friends at a Nov. 18 party given at Kahal Joseph Congregation Temple. Among the celebrants was his workout trainer, Jeremy Forte, who has been helping Dabby lift weights and exercise for the past year. "Sam has a variety of medical challenges, but it's never too late to start working out," Forte says. "Like Sam says, 'You don't have to wait a 100 years to do it.'"

Dabby, who had broken his hip, began working out after his son, Frank, suggested he talk to Forte. The first session went rather well, and Dabby decided to go for it. Since starting to lift weights and exercise, Dabby has regained some of his old joie de vivre and has begun to walk without a cane. He's presently pumping four-pound weights, five times a week.

Born in Baghdad and one of eight children, Dabby served in the British Air Force for 12 years and eventually made his way to New York during World War II. Later, Dabby moved his wife, Norma, and five children west and settled in Los Angeles. After a successful stint in business, Dabby devoted his life to philanthropic work.

"Sam is an inspiration to other people," Forte says, "Everybody loves him. Working with him [proves] that there is always more people can do in their life - even start having fun."

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