Life of a Leap Baby

Posted February 28, 2024

Only about 5 million people worldwide — less than 0.1% of the world’s population — have been born on Feb. 29. Andy Eichel, senior managing strategy consultant in Strategic Consulting, is one of them.

Today, Eichel has his 10th birthday — but perhaps more accurately (or “boringly” as he puts it), he turns 40.

“The most common question I get by far is, ‘When do you celebrate your birthday?’ My answer has always been the same: I was born in February, so I celebrate my birthday on the last day of February,” he said. “Some leap year babies have a different logic; but they are wrong. I don't usually celebrate on both days but, as I get older, maybe that will change.”

Eichel has no negative feelings about only seeing his birthday on the calendar every four years. But he does think it makes it harder for him to keep track of others’ birthdays.

“My friends and family have it easy with my special day, but how can I be expected to remember, if you were born on a random day in the middle of a random month?” he jokes.

Having the rarest birthday in the world could create a special bond for some. Eichel tells a story of going on a date in high school and finding out they were born on the same day.

“Halfway through the date we discovered we had the same birthday. We didn't really have anything else in common, but the novelty of dating a fellow leap year baby kept us together for a few months, which is practically a decade in high school dating,” he said.

Eichel has been at Georgia Tech since 2016 (also a leap year), when he started as a Brittain Fellow. He then worked as an academic coach in the Office of Undergraduate Education before taking on his current role in 2022.

In nearly eight years at Tech, this is only his second time having his birthday. So, if you see him, wish him a happy one before four more years pass.

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Kristen Bailey
Institute Communications