AUSTIN, Texas — A family member says the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who was also believed to be oldest living man in the U.S. has died in Texas.
Richard Overton was 112. Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin, says the Army veteran died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin.
Overton had been recently hospitalized with pneumonia.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared Thursday Richard Overton Day in the city and also gave the street he has lived on for the past 45 years the honorary name of Richard Overton Avenue.
Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. 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.
In 2013, he was honored by former President Barack Obama at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.