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At 88 years young, Howard Hurwitz has just secured a bright future.
"I just turned 88. And I'm here today to collect a diploma," Hurwitz said. "If you're not active, you may as well be dead."
Hurwitz is proof that it's never too late to reinvent yourself.
On Monday, the widower walked across the stage followed by his peers – some as young as 16 years old – to proudly receive his diploma in medical coding and billing from Atlantic Technical Center in Coconut Creek.
Hurwitz took the microphone when his name was called during his graduation ceremony to tell his peers, "You make me feel so young."
The crowd followed with thunderous applause.
Compared to his classmates, Hurwitz has a wealth of life experience. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
"I landed first on Normandy shore. They found me last at Hitler's door," the octogenarian recalled.
The last time Hurwitz was in a classroom was in 1947, when he enrolled in a local city college in New Jersey. He never finished college and instead began selling janitorial supplies, but he recently realized he wanted to go into medical coding and billing. It took 10 grueling months for Hurwitz to earn his degree, but he says the late-career change is worth it.
"I have a nasty habit. I like to eat and I like to earn money because I have to be able to support myself. If I am going to live to be 100-plus, which I intend to do, I don't want anyone to have to take care of me," Hurwitz said.
So now it's back into the real world again. This time around Hurwitz will be looking to work as a medical coder and biller at a physician's office. And to his potential employer, he promises one thing.
"I'm going to make your staff very happy because I'm a happy guy," he said.