Tags: Veterans | richard overton | world war ii | oldest man | oldest veteran

Nation's Oldest Man, Veteran Dies at 112

richard overton on his 109th birthday smokes a cigar with a few neighborhood friends on their porch
Richard celebrated his 109th birthday on a front porch in East Austin with friends and family May 3, 2015. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 27 December 2018 09:59 PM

Richard Overton, the nation's oldest man and oldest veteran, died Thursday. He was 112.

Overton was released Monday from a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia and moved into an Austin rehabilitation facility, where he died Thursday,  his third cousin, Volma Overton, told the Dallas Morning News.

"We are thankful for everything he's done for the family, for the world," she told the News. "We're going to miss him."

In a statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the Austin native as "an American icon and a Texas legend."

Overton was born May 11, 1906, and fought in World War II in a segregated unit. After returning from war, he spent the bulk of his career working at furniture stores, then at the Texas Department of Treasury.

One of his greatest joys recently has been sitting on the front porch of the home he built 70 years ago, the News reported — a house on the street that was renamed for him on his 111th birthday.

As he puffed through one of 12 daily cigars he enjoyed, or sipped his favorite drink of whisky and Coke, strangers would stop by to take Overton's picture or shake his hand, the news outlet reported.

At 106, he met President Barack Obama, politicians, athletes, and celebrities. And when comedian Steve Harvey asked him his secret, he replied: "Just keep living, don't die."

But as he he aged, he never worried about death, the News reported. 

"I didn't know when I came here, and I don't know when I'm going," he would often say. "That's God's work."

Overton outlived his six sisters, three brothers, wife, and ex-wife. He never had children.

He will be buried in the Texas State Cemetery, according to Volma Overton.

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Richard Overton died Thursday as the nation's oldest man and oldest veteran, 112, The Dallas Morning News reported.
richard overton, world war ii, oldest man, oldest veteran
Thursday, 27 December 2018 09:59 PM
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