California man finally gets high school diploma 60 years after missing exam needed to graduate

To add to the joyous occasion, the school still had his original diploma locked away in an old filing cabinet.
PASADENA, Calif. -- A 78-year-old Southern California man has a lot to celebrate.

After missing out on his high school graduation in 1962 for getting in some hot water as a teen, Ted Sams finally received his diploma alongside the class of 2022.

Sams was invited by San Gabriel High School to walk across the stage during Friday's graduation ceremony at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Dressed in full cap and gown, he walked alongside students 60 years his junior, and he couldn't have been happier.

"When I went back with my grade, they wouldn't give me my diploma because I owed $4.80 for a book and so I just walked away and said forget it," said Sams of his time as a senior.

Sams said he didn't graduate after getting in trouble and being suspended just five days before the end of the school year. He said he had missed a crucial final exam and had to make it up over the summer.

"Over the years, I complained to my kids a number of times about how $4.80 kept me from having my diploma," he said.

To add to the joyous occasion, the school still had Sams' original diploma locked away in an old filing cabinet.

Sams, who's officially a high school graduate, said he plans on hanging his diploma on his wall at home.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.