104-Year-Old Upper West Sider Votes for Biden, Then Says ‘Now I Can Die Happy’


Ruth Rosner and an election worker named Antonia outside the polling station. Photo by Faith Salie.

Upper West Siders have been waiting hours to vote early since the polls opened on Saturday. But for those waiting in line on Saturday they got a very special treat — Ruth Rosner, a 104-year-old woman who has lived in the neighborhood for decades, showed up to vote.

Rosner said that of all the eras she lived through, including both World Wars, this one feels like the most important. “That’s why I’m so thrilled that I’m still alive,” she said in a video shot by her friend Faith Salie. She did not mince words in explaining why she wanted to vote so badly.

“I want to vote more than anything just today before I shoot that asshole Trump,” she said.

Salie wrote on Twitter that Rosner’s father died of the Spanish flu in 1918, when she was 2.

She voted at the David Rubenstein Atrium on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Street, which is part of Lincoln Center. People there let her go to the front of the line.

“She was ready with her license that shows her DOB : 3/30/16 (That would be 1916.) But all she had to do was show her registration card & sign with a stylus she got to keep. My kids & I walked her to a private booth. I helped her stand. She filled in that circle HARD.”

When she was done, people around her gave out a loud cheer.

“I feel that I did the best thing that I could do under terrible circumstances,” she said.

“Now I can die happy,” she added, shedding some tears.

NEWS | 84 comments | permalink
    1. Joan says:

      Thanks Ruth for being a great Upper Westsider!

    2. Julia says:

      I hope you would have put this in if it were a 104 year old dying happy after voting for Trump
      (and I am not a Trump person).

      • Tim says:

        Julia, you know the answer to that. Local, open-minded neighbors would be outraged if the WSR had profiled a centenarian who espoused such vulgar hate for Biden. But the WSR wouldn’t write about that kind of story anyway, it goes against the local “news” narrative.

        • David S says:

          Perhaps this lady regards her comments as made in self-defense. Trump’s actions (and inaction) over the course of the pandemic have certainly endangered her more than the average citizen due to her advanced age.

          • cathy says:

            What did you want Trump to do that he hasn’t?

            • kr says:

              Use federal government resources to:
              1. coordinate acquisition of testing supplies through a transparent process instead of forcing every state to bid.
              2. make a registry of nursing homes and make sure they have enough supplies.
              3. bring teachers and administrators together and come up with plans, guidelines and funding for school reopenings instead of just jawboning about it.

      • UWS Kid says:

        Oh my GOD what a hilarious take. Trump sympathizers are natural comedians!

    3. CrankyPants says:

      Faith is a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning. This was obviously part of an upcoming story. I hope camera stayed in their designated/permitted areas throughout.

    4. Bill Williams says:

      “I want to vote more than anything just today before I shoot that asshole Trump,” she said.”

      This is the kind of discourse the WSR thinks is worth promoting? I don’t care how old this woman is. She’s obviously part of the problem.

      • Paul says:

        Perhaps you can explain how trump is not an asshole?

      • TruthSayer says:

        yeah, makes the story a bit gross. It should be a happy story. That’s the world nowadays though.

      • Paul on W 67 says:

        Yeah, all those outspoken 104 year-olds are really part of the problem.

        Not the fact that we have an utterly incompetent. thoroughly immoral, and criminally corrupt man in the White House, who by the way said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support.

        I hope she lives until January 20, 2021 to see Joseph Biden sworn in as president.

      • Elyse says:

        Bill, why are you being so negative against the WSR? It feels like you have a hidden agenda against this “super-senior.” She voted, as we all are, as if her life depended on it. And it does! Your life depends on the election voting Trump out. We are in a pandemic and people are dying because he did not implement a national plan to protect people. And after all these months, now what? Our country is in worse shape than others. Obviously the woman is smart and has her wits about her. And obviously she was kidding! It appears that you can’t take a joke. Now if a white-supremacist said such a thing, your comment might be warranted. Lighten up! Put your heart in our community and help people.

      • UWS Kid says:

        I’d love to hear your take on the problematic discourse natural to Trump and his supporters! Are you familiar with ~locker room talk~?

      • easydoesit says:

        She sounds like a total jerk. Age doesn’t give anyone a free pass.

    5. ben says:

      Now THAT’s how you rock the vote.

    6. Otis says:

      “I want to vote more than anything just today before I shoot that asshole Trump,”

      I don’t like Trump myself and I hope he loses but isn’t this a little harsh and uncalled for?

      I mean, if a 104 year old woman said she’s voting for Trump and wants to shoot that asshole Biden the whole UWS would be outraged. I doubt many UWSers would find it as cute and amusing as Ms. Rosner’s comments.

      Extremists come from both the right and left.

      • JoAnna says:

        Really!?! Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters. It’s OK for him to comment about shooting someone but God forbid someone else says it. Give me a break.

    7. Bob Lamm says:

      Bravo. Hooray for Ruth Rosner.

    8. Gail says:

      I love a Ruth and am so proud of her for voting!!
      She’s a roll model for everyone.

    9. Chris says:

      Awesome, thank you Ruth.

    10. Cheryl and Bruce Roberts says:

      We are so happy she was able to cast her vote for Biden, against Trump. And we all wish her well from Chicago. My husband is from Brooklyn and we are New Yorkers in our hearts as well as Chicagoans. We hope she lives at least one more week to see Trump lose.

    11. Early Voter says:

      Amazing story! Hope Ruth continues to be healthy, sharp and live her best life! Thank you WSR.

    12. Persona Grata says:

      Of course the WSR should cover spirited seniors in all their diversity! I enjoyed this article and I salute Ruth for speaking her truth and walking the walk. Well done!

    13. The Merry Mailman says:

      I really don’t understand why people have to go out and stand online for hours in the rain when they could’ve voted by mail. I got a tracking number and they emailed me back that my vote has been processed two weeks ago!

      • Sue says:

        Well good for you. I applied 4 weeks ago. Ballot was “out for delivery” Oct 4. I requested a 2nd ballot on October 16. That one says (still) “reviewing request.” Called BOE again October 21 – I still have not received a ballot. And I am not alone. You think I want to wait for hours to vote? I do not. But I will. And know you know why.

      • Spence Halperin says:

        I have had the same experience as Sue. Mailed my absentee ballot from upstate NY on 10/3. Still not received by the Bd of Elections. I plan to vote in person. They said they would send another ballot and never did.

    14. Tears came to my eyes.... says:

      All I can say is OMG what a life she went through. All those ups and downs she must have experienced in her life and look at her Energy she’s giving off at 104! She would put anybody in their 70s and 80s to shame!

    15. Irene Packer says:

      I love you Ruth!

    16. Barbara Buoncristiano says:

      This woman gives me hope. She’s a grand feisty “broad”. God bless her! And I don’t say that lightly.

    17. Barbara says:

      This woman gives me hope. She’s a grand feisty “broad”. God bless her! And I don’t say that lightly.

    18. Jane says:

      Woo-hoo! What a great story!

    19. A great sweet story … we needed that.

    20. Jphn says:

      Anyone who criticizes this woman for saying “asshole” yet supports Trump should look up the word “irony.”

      • Not OK says:

        The issue is not the word “asshole” It’s “shoot”
        If she had said that about Biden, she would have been reported by this group to the secret service.
        Civility, people. That’s what we want. What would Joe do?
        Signed,
        super committed Biden voter

    21. Mindy Lewis says:

      I remember Ruth Rosner from my writing class at the West Side Y where she was workshopping some very spicy stories. She always spoke her truth (and then some!) and didn’t care who she offended. Brava, Ruth, for sticking to your guns and staying with us to vote for Biden.

    22. Karen L. Bruno says:

      Doesn’t matter..Trump won without NY and he’ll win again without NY!

      • cathy says:

        Average folks are voting for Trump – the coastal elites, including NYC, have no idea what the rest of the country wants.

    23. Kathy says:

      What is wrong with you, “Julia” and Bill Williams? Get a freaking life and celebrate someone who has survived to 104 and has every right to have any damn opinion she wants. Good lord, losers, go spend your time looking for your hearts that clearly turned cold and boring a while ago. Godspeed.

    24. David Sirota says:

      Well done Ruth. Please hang around long enough to let us know what you think of Biden’s first term as President!

    25. Ladybug says:

      Ruth is a heroine!!!

      My mom is 99 1/2 (on Thursday) and filled out and signed her absentee ballot last week with the same sentiments.

      Thank you amazing ladies!

      xoxo

    26. ksf says:

      WAY TO GO, Ms. Rosner- YES LET’S DUMP THE CHUMP TRUMP! HOORAY FOR YOU–AND PLEASE KEEP GOING STRONG!!

    27. Sam Koo says:

      Manners and civility, please.
      Shoot, asshole, these are the favorite words of ISIS and Taliban.
      This is UWS, people. Please be nice to each other.
      So sad to see so much hate.
      I was walking with my wife along the Broadway. All of a sudden a woman screams from her restaurant table using F and A words because I was wearing a red golf hat with a golf club logo. When she did not see MAGA on it, her companions brushed me off.
      Well dressed, all good looking at an expensive restaurant but no proper vocabulary.
      So sad.

    28. Spence Halperin says:

      Now that’s a real Upper West Sider.

    29. Angela Smith, MD says:

      Very compelling, emotionally moving story!! Wish more people lived long and intact enough to honestly and with a long view, KNOW how they want to live before they die. And the rest of us learn so much from them!!

    30. UWS40 says:

      All of you who posted negative responses are not true upper westsiders.

      UWSers are outspoken and liberal.

      Go Ruth!!!

    31. Disappointed in NY says:

      TDS is alive and well on the UWS.
      How sad that this vulgarity reigns supreme from people who are my neighbors.
      Because I desire law & order, lower taxes, personal responsibility and support of our armed forces, I am forced to keep my politics to myself because I work in an industry that is overwhelmingly Liberal.
      I am a freelance, contract worker. I literally lost 35% of my yearly income when a certain employer found out I leaned to the Right. And that happened in the early 2000’s, not 2016 when things really got heated.
      I wish Ms. Rosner well. But fear at her advanced age she may not be around to suffer what could actually happen under a Biden/Harris administration.
      I do hope my neighbors who I hear discussing people like me, with such distain, don’t have buyer’s remorse should their candidate win.

      • Tara Black says:

        Are you making $400k a year? Then you don’t have to worry about your dumb taxes. Maybe you should worry about a country that’s being destroyed by the numbskull you voted into office four years ago.

      • RL says:

        Disappointed in NY – oh the irony – support for armed forces, more law and order – and lower taxes. Not sure how that works

        • Disappointed in NY says:

          RL, have you been watching what’s going on the past four years?
          Vote for Trump, you’ll see how it’s done…again.

      • Disappointed in NY says:

        Do you really think corporations from whom you buy goods and employers who are deciding whether you get a raise next year, are not going to find a way to pass this on to the little guy?
        Oh, and by the way, did you see the GDP today? The “numbskull” led the country to the largest growth rate EVER recorded in a three-month period. At an annualized rate, it grew 33.1%.
        Curious, when you get your eyes checked is “D” the only letter you can read on the chart?

    32. Linda Duchin says:

      Thanks Ruth!

    33. Louise Sharakan says:

      My late husband and I often ran into Ruth at Breads And always had fun interesting conversations with her. Hurrah for Ruth. Long may she wave!

    34. Sally says:

      That is so uplifting!! Go, Ruth!!!!

    35. Joe B says:

      Maybe when youre 108
      Youll see a dem president again
      I doubt it

    36. MaryAnne says:

      Amazing lady! God bless you Ruth. ❤️

    37. Barbara says:

      Thanks for the uplifting report. She’s a great lady and a wonderful member of our community.

    38. Susan says:

      A beautiful beautiful and inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing this

    39. Bridget says:

      I think God will keep in mind her wish because if He doesn’t, she will be in His face for all Eternity! I think it’s great when people of advanced age know what they want in life!

    40. Fran says:

      A perfect role model …..I can only hope that the youth of today will follow in her wonderful foot steps.

    41. Buddy Revell says:

      This pathetic, digital, fishwrap paper won’t post any opposing views? No journalistic integrity. keep bootlicking the liberal agenda. This website is a sham.

      • Tara Black says:

        No one’s making you read it. Go back to Fox News.

        • Buddy Revell says:

          Sorry Tara but I don’t watch Fox news. I read because I care about this neighborhood and want to know what is going on. Sorry that I don’t fit into your narrative.

    42. cathy says:

      I just voted TRUMP – but I am not going to die anytime soon I hope : )

    43. Bobbie Wayne says:

      You go Ruth! My folks were born a year before you. After all you have lived through, it really means something to hear you identify this election as the most important event. You make us all proud!

    44. Joan Holleran says:

      Cheers from your pal in New Hampshire Ruth. One in the bank for Biden.

    45. sean f. says:

      unfortunately many people tie their happiness to things like politics. TDS is self inflicted.

    46. I absolutely love her & her uplifting attitude!

    47. monique breindel says:

      we are all blessed to be in a world that has the fabulous Ruth Rosner in it.
      brave, bold, beautiful
      applause!!!!

    48. Patty Reynolds says:

      You are an inspiration! Boy, did I need you today!

    49. L says:

      FANTABULOUS RUTH!! THANK YOU!!

    50. lucy raskin says:

      Bless her dedication. May she live long enough to see Biden make a difference in the White House

    51. irene redlus says:

      She is truly a American Asset.