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Nation’s oldest WWII vet who said secret to long life was cigars and whiskey dies in Texas aged 112

America’s oldest Second World War veteran dies at 112: Hero soldier who fought the Japanese and credited his long life to whiskey and cigars passes away after battle with pneumonia

  • Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran died Thursday in Texas
  • Aged 112, he was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US
  • The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve 
  • He said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey 
  • Overton was born in 1906 near Austin and served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion 
  • In 2013, former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery 

Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US, died Thursday in Texas aged 112.

The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve, a family member said. 

‘They had done all they could,’ Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin and his longtime caretaker. said.

Pictured May 2018, aged 111, Richard Overton the nation’s oldest World War II veteran died Thursday in Texas

Overton celebrating his 107th, said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home

Overton celebrating his 107th, said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home

He died in the evening at a rehab facility in Austin.  

He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home.

His recent birthdays drew national attention and strangers would stop by his house to meet him.  

Pictured April 8, Overton was the third oldest man on the planet at 112 years old

Overton is a US Arm veteran

Pictured April 8 (left), Overton was the third oldest man on the planet and a US Army veteran (right)

He visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture - NMAAHC - in April, assisted by family friend Martin Wilford, and his third cousin Volma Overton, pushing chair

He visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture – NMAAHC – in April, assisted by family friend Martin Wilford, and his third cousin Volma Overton, pushing chair

Even well into his 100s, he would drive widows in his neighborhood to church.

‘With his quick wit and kind spirit he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him,’ Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement Thursday. 

Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. 

Abbott called Overton ‘an American icon and Texas legend’.

‘Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans,’ the governor added. 

‘We can never repay Richard Overton for his service to our nation and for his lasting impact on the Lone Star State.’

Richard met President Obama at the White House for breakfast on November 11, 2013

Richard met President Obama at the White House for breakfast on November 11, 2013

In 2013, former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. He is pictured with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room

In 2013, former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. He is pictured with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room

Vice President Joe Biden talked with the pair in Washington DC

Vice President Joe Biden talked with the pair in Washington DC

Overton was born in 1906 near Austin and served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion.

In 2013, former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

‘He was there at Pearl Harbor, when the battleships were still smoldering,’ Obama said of Overton. 

‘He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said, “I only got out of there by the grace of God”.’

He was honored during a ceremony to honor veterans at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, USA on November 2013

He was honored during a ceremony to honor veterans at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, USA on November 2013

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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