AUSTIN, TEXAS — Richard Overton, the oldest living veteran in the United States, has died at age 112. His cousin, Volma Overton Jr., confirmed the news to the Austin American-Statesman.
KTBC reported that the news came days after he was admitted to a hospital last week with pneumonia. He was in a rehab facility at the time of his death.
Overton served in World War II and notably enjoyed whiskey and cigars. KTBC reported that he gave credit to God for his longevity, but said his vices have helped too.
“All my life, ever since I was 18 years old. It don't hurt you if you know how to drink it...don't get drunk every thirty minutes,” Overton said jokingly to the news station in May.
“I been smoking cigars from when I was 18 years old. I’m still a smoking ‘em,” he said. “Twelve a day.”
In 2013, he was honored with a holiday and a street in his name. Hamilton Avenue, the street he lived on, was given the honorary street name Richard Overton Avenue, and his birthday, May 11, was proclaimed “Richard A. Overton Day” by the Austin City Council.
Michael McCaul, U.S. representative for Texas' 10 Congressional District, commented on Overton's death on Twitter.
“Sad to learn of the passing of Richard Overton, whose life peronsified service to our country and local community. I was blessed to know him and will always remember him as the star of the show when we opened the new VA clinic in Austin.”
Lloyd Dogget, the state’s representative for the 35th Congressional District, also sent his thoughts on Twitter.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot referred to Overton as an American icon and Texas legend.
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