Rock Island’s Shelby Harris turns 111

The oldest living man in the U.S. celebrated his 111th birthday with friends and family at the Rock Island Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

It was a very emotional day for Mr. Shelby Harris as he had tears in his eyes while the Men’s Choir from Second Baptist in Rock Island serenaded him.  The choir sang a few gospel songs as well as Happy Birthday.

Known by many as “Uncle Shelby,” there is no doubt that people in this community adore him.  That admiration stems from the love he has given others for over a century.  And that might be his secret to living this long.

“One of the greatest things in the world is to love people and believe in people.  I just try to live from day to day; I try to live the right kind of life.  I try to live the truth.  I love everybody and I want everybody to love me,” he tells us.

Mr. Harris was born on March 31, 1901, in southern Indiana.   He first worked as a coal miner before moving to the Quad Cities in 1942.  He enlisted in the Army during World War II and later took a job with the former Union Malleable in East Moline, Illinois.