What It Means to Be 78 - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What It Means to Be 78

This is Saturday. My 78th birthday was yesterday, November 25, 2022. I am so blessed to be celebrating it in America, in Beverly Hills, in bed with my Big Wifey, and with my pals, I just cannot adequately express it.

I have said this a million times and I will say it until I die. I am a Jew and for eons, my fellow Jews have been tortured, massacred, murdered, imprisoned by non-Jews.

Even when I was a small infant, ten thousand Jews a day were being murdered by the Nazis. My father-in-law, Colonel Dale Denman, Jr., was fighting the SS hand to hand, to liberate one of the most brutal death damps of all time, Gunskirchen Lager. This man, Col. Denman, a gentleman, a brave soldier, a superb bridge player, fought with all his might to beat down the gates to this hellhole.

His daughter, a genuine saint, is beautiful, and also kind, empathetic, forgiving, and super smart. In this ultra-competitive world of Hollywood, she has become a famously successful show business attorney, largely due to the help of my old pal, Michael Eisner, then CEO of Paramount and friend of my friend, a real genius named Don Simpson.

At 78, I reflect on the miracles that have brought me to America, to Hollywood, to a home in Beverly Hills, to a son who shows authentic love to his old man and his Mom, and a car, an Audi S-8, that in a way has a personality of its own. My pal, Claude Dauman, explained that car so well that I fell in love with it. A super salesman.

So many people have been so good to me that it’s been a miracle now for decades in my life.
Yale was ultra-generous to me; Columbia was brilliantly good to me; my best pals of my life, Al Burton and his wife, Sally, have dispensed miracles to me from 1976 to right now. Joan Didion was spectacularly kind to me … the list is endless.

Yes, the list is actually endless. The gift I gave myself on my birthday was to just start thanking the authentically infinite list of saints in my life.

I will give you your own gift daily or close to it from now on: start with lists of those who have given to you and do not stop until you fall asleep. If those people are still alive, like my wonderful sister, thank each one as your time and energy permit.

And again, as always, start with God’s gift to mankind, our own beloved America, the greatest creation of all time.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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