Chicago man, 98, who works 7 days a week explains the secret to his longevity

A man believed to be the country’s oldest full time employee works on the West Side of Chicago.

At age 98, he is in good health, he drives, and he is sharp.

Joe Grier turned 98 on May 9th and is still working seven days a week at Victory, one of The Planter Companies in the North Austin neighborhood. He’s often asked why he continues to work daily.  

"It makes me feel good. I'm able to associate myself with things that I've associated myself with for so long. It's a habit,." Grier said. 

Grier is a craftsman, making molds for trophies and awards. Working in the shiny industry that helps recognize achievements must’ve rubbed off on him but his boss said it’s the other way around.

"He's a mentor for everybody that works here. He’s just somebody who has been here for so long, who teaches us everything, who has taught us everything," said Eric Priceman, owner and boss of The Planter Companies.


Joe’s secret to long life: "I control my own thinking." 

Joe's other secret to longevity, he doesn’t call it work.  He says he's "going to the shop" and he doesn’t allow negative words in his vocabulary. He said he views problems as opportunities.

"It's how you look at them and how you deal with them and then, they're no longer a problem," Grier said. 

"Joe's gonna be around forever. I tell him he can't retire until he’s 108," Priceman said.

Joe said he enjoys life.

"I laugh a lot. It's easy for me to laugh. Perhaps it's because of my long years of living and the things that I've experienced, most things are funny," Grier said.

He has made trophies for a lifetime but his winning attitude is what makes Joe Grier a champion.