Oldest World War II Veteran Dead at 112

Richard Overton once said the secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey.

richard Overton
Mr. Richard Overton, 112-years-old, the 3rd oldest man on the planet, the oldest male in the United States, and the oldest military veteran, visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post/Getty Images

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

The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve, NBC News reported. He died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin, Texas.


Overton once said that a secret to his longevity was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often did on the porch of his Austin, Texas home.

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

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