Richard Arvin Overton (born May 11, 1906) [1] [25] is an American supercentenarian who at age 112 is the oldest verified surviving U.S. war military veteran ​ as a member of the United States Army, ​and the oldest living man in the United States, (but not the world has that title belong's to Japanese native, Mazazo Nonaka [24] ​). In 2013 he was honored by President Barack Obama. [2] [3] [5] A veteran who saw service during World War 2 ​, during 1940 and 1945, Overton has resided at the same residence since 1945 in the home he built in East Austin, Texas. He has been honoured by Austin mayor, Steve Adler (lawyer) ​ who declared May 11th (his birthday) national "Richard Overton Day"  and the unveiling of a street named after him called "Richard Overton Avenue", by the Austin Council ​. [18] ​ he has been the subject of a short film documentary and also has a garden at a VA outpatient clinic named in his honour [19]

Early life

Overton was born in St Marys Colony, Bastrop County, Texas [15] a black farming community to Gentry Overton, Sr. (1877–1920) and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters (1876–1939)., he was the fourth child of ten. His father's paternal grandfather, John Overton, Jr., was white and a son of judge John Overton. He is of African-American, English and Irish descent.

Military Service and Career

Overton was inducted into the United States military ​, at the age of 24, on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. [6]

He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima. He left the U.S. Army in October 1945 as a technician fifth grade. [19]

Overton worked various jobs during the 1920s including picking cotton, harvesting corn, construction work and cooking, and as afurniture truck driver for Bargain Furniture in 1940, before finding employment as a warehouse man at a local furniture store in 1947, he worked as a porter in 1955, before taking a position in Austin with the Texas Department of the Treasury (now part of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)

Later life - Supercentenarian  and Documentary

Overton, became a centenarian in 1996, and again gained media attention, aged 107 during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day "smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee." [8] [9]

On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry. [20] Overton was also invited to the White House where he met with President Barack Obama, and to the Veterans' Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery ​, where he was singled out by name for praise by the President. [5] [12]

Overton became a supercentenarian on May 11th, 2016 and was the subject of a short documentary in 2016 called, " Mr. Overton" , in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service. On May 3, 2016, he  had became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston from Bossier Parish, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Health and Personal life

Overton, America's oldest war veteran and oldest man has an official website at Richard-Overton.com [25] ​. Mr. Overton was married twice and had no children, he's wife Novella Prince he married in 1926, his second wife he met around 1945, Wilma Goyne Overton [13] ​ and she died in 1988, he currently resides  in East Austin, Texas, He attends church regularly and still drives. A Go-Fund me campaign was set up in his honour so he can remain in the same home he built in 1945. He likes to drink Whisky and is a heavy cigar smoker, and was featured in magazine "" Cigar Aficionado ​. In November 2015, Overton was hospitalized for pneumonia at the age of 109.

A week after celebrating his 111th birthday in May 2017, he was once again hospitalized for pneumonia. [22]

Image
U.S. President Barack Obama, shakes hands with Overton in the Blue Room at the White House on Veterans Day 2013

In August 2017, Overton was hospitalized for a third time in Austin for pneumonia in both of his lungs, in 2018 on 1 June FoxNews reported he was an victim of intensity theft,  when someone accessed his social security account, and set up an account is his name, he has also a GoFundMe ​ account which has raised $340,00, for his in-home care.

See also