Friday, December 28, 2018
Richard Overton, the oldest veteran from World War II and also the oldest man in America, has passed away at the age of 112. He had been in the hospital with a bout of pneumonia, family said. He was longtime resident of Austin, Texas, where he lived on a street that had been renamed to Richard Overton Avenue in his honor.
Overton enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was a member of the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit that served on various islands in the Pacific. He was honored by President Barack Obama in 2013 at the Veteran's Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where Overton told CNN that he did not like thinking or talking about the war.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement yesterday that Overton was called Overton "an American icon and a Texas legend."
What was his secret to his long life? He credited the grace of God, not taking medicine, and enjoying his vices. "I drink whiskey in my coffee. Sometimes I drink it straight," he said when he was 107. "I smoke my cigars, blow the smoke out; I don't swallow it."
See Kelly Murray, Richard Overton, America's Oldest World War II Veteran and the Oldest Man in the US, has Died, MSN, December 27, 2018.