It only took 99 years for Phil Basser to become an overnight sensation.
It started with a tweet sent out last Sunday evening by his grandson, Josh Potter, an 18-year-old freshman at the University of Pennsylvania.
Potter simply noted that the 99-year-old Basser, better known as Grandpa Phil, has never witnessed his Eagles win a Super Bowl. The post was accompanied by a photo of Grandpa Phil cheering on the Eagles in his Carson Wentz jersey.
After hitting the send button, Potter put his phone down to charge it. He was surprised when he checked it a short time later. It has been retweeted almost 600 times and liked by another 2,000 users.
"I didn't think it was going to blow up, but I think people are going to see he's cute and how could they not retweet it," Potter says. "It went way further than I ever expected it to go, but it's awesome. Although he doesn't love the attention, it's well deserved and it's awesome to share with the rest of the world.
"He's so special because he's an inspiration and such a role model. He's lived such an amazing life, but he's just so real. He never does anything for attention. He never does anything for any other motive than it's the right thing. He's just an incredible example for our entire family. He's a true underdog story. It's hard for us to get down about anything when we've seen what he's gone through and how strong he is. He really just sets the standard for how to live life."
Grandpa Phil was drafted into the service in 1941. He did his basic training in the Army Corps of Engineers and wanted to become a pilot in the Air Corps. The problem is that with World War II raging on boots were needed on the ground. Basser completed officer training before being sent to the Pacific. Grandpa Phil survived horrific living conditions as well as a bout of malaria that he contracted while in the Philippines.
Grandpa Phil also served in the Korean War before returning to Philadelphia to start a new life with his wife, Pearl. He started the renowned agency, Philip B. Basser Advertising, Incorporated. He and Pearl worked tirelessly to make sure that their family had everything they needed. He relied on lessons learned from his upbringing.