WWII Veteran Richard Overton Hits 112th Birthday- Now the Oldest Man in America
Three years ago we wrote about WWII veteran Richard Overton, when he was a mere 109 years young. Today, on his 112th birthday, he has reached the status of being American’s oldest person, let alone a WWII veteran. He credits God, cigars, and whiskey (in his coffee) for his longevity. He also hopes to live another 5 years.
He’s quite a character, so they say, even though he requires 24/7 in home care. He lives on a street in Austin, Texas, that was renamed in his honor last year – Richard Overton Avenue. He’s lived there since returning from World War II.
He was born in Bastrop, Texas in 1906. He was drafted into the US Army in 1940.He served through World War II in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima, Palau, Guam, and Hawaii. He served in the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (colored).
His awards were:
U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge.
After WWII, he worked for a furniture store before obtaining a postion with the Texas Department of the Treasury.
His friends say he is lighthearted and makes people smile. Probably that’s between a puff from his cigar and swigs from his whiskey-laden coffee. (My own dad used to drink that stuff. Only the hardy, let me tell ya).
Overton has been hospitalized for pneumonia at least 3 times in the last three years since we first wrote about him.
Fox News reported,
…Overton hasn’t let age slow him down — just last month, the now 112-year-old flew on a private jet to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
“He’s like a gift to Austin that keeps giving,” Overton’s friend, Steve Wiener, told the newspaper. “He’s a crackerjack. When people sense his humor and playfulness, it just lightens everyone’s step.”
Keep it going, Sir!
The following is a short film about Richard Overton by the National Geographic: