WWII Veteran Ben Martinez ’35 Celebrates 100th Birthday!

Posted August 21, 2019 / Last updated August 21, 2019

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Holding his Jesuit diploma from 1935, Ben Martinez celebrates his 100th birthday with members of Jesuit’s alumni office—Jack Culotta, Jr. ’13 (alumni coordinator), Mike Prados (alumni director), Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, S.J. (alumni chaplain), and Tom Bagwill (advancement director). Martinez received gifts of Blue Jay apparel, as well as items to display in his Metairie condominum.

Proud Blue Jay and World War II veteran Ben Martinez ’35 celebrated his 100th birthday with members of Jesuit’s alumni office on the morning of August 21, 2019. On this day in 2011, Martinez accepted the late Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald’s invitation to be honored as the inaugural Distinguished Military Alumnus at the Jesuit-Holy Cross football game.

Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, S.J., gives Ben Martinez ’35 a birthday blessing.

With a contagious smile on his face, Martinez told Jesuit administrators stories from 88 years ago when he first set foot onto Jesuit’s campus. Martinez enjoyed the visit in his Metairie condo before attending his centennial celebration at the National WWII Museum, where he continues to volunteer twice a week. “When you come down to the National WWII Museum, the first smiling face you see belongs to Ben Martinez,” WGNO’s Bill Wood said in a feature story of Martinez on June 6, 2019.

Two and a half months before his 100th birthday, Martinez celebrated his 75th D-Day anniversary and was also featured in a Fox News national story. Jesuit High School wishes Martinez a happy 100th year!

Related News…

National WWII Museum Facebook Page | 100th Birthday Celebration Photos

Fox News | Remembering D-Day 75 Years Later

WGNO.com | D-Day. Every day. Almost hundred year old Ben Martinez is an everyday hero

NWW2M.com | Ben Martinez Spotlight