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Richard Arvine Overton

Richard Arvine Overton

Richard Arvin Overton (May 11, 1906 – December 27, 2018) was an American supercentenarian who at the age of 112 years, 230 days was the oldest verified surviving U.S. World War II veteran and oldest man in the United States. He served in the United States Army. In 2013, he was honored by President Barack Obama.[2][3][4][5] He resided in Austin, Texas, until his death.

Richard Arvin Overton
Born(1904-05-11)May 11, 1904
Bastrop County, Texas, U.S.
Died(2018-12-27)December 27, 2018
(aged 112 years, 230 days)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.pngUnited States Army
Years of service1940–1945
RankUS Army WWII T5C.svgTechnician fifth grade[1]
Unit1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (Colored)
Battles/warsWorld War II
  • South Pacific Theater
AwardsCombat Infantry Badge.svgCombat Infantryman Badge
Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svgBronze Star Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svgU.S. Army Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svgAmerican Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svgAmerican Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svgAsiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svgWorld War II Victory Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svgMeritorious Unit Commendation
US Army Expert Qualification Marksmanship Badge.pngExpert Rifle Marksmanship Badge

Early life and education

Overton was born in Bastrop County, Texas,[6] to Gentry Overton, Sr. and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters.[7]

Military and civilian career

Overton enlisted into the U.S. military on September 3, 1940, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[8]

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.[9]

Overton worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Department of the Treasury (now part of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts) in Austin. He was married twice but did not have any children.[10]

Later years

U.S. President Barack Obama greets Overton in the White House Blue Room, Veterans Day 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama greets Overton in the White House Blue Room, Veterans Day 2013

Overton gained media attention during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day "smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee."[11] On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry. 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][13]

During an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies on March 24, 2017, Overton was honored during a half-time break.[14]

Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary, Mr. Overton, in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service.[15][16] On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston.[17][18][19]

On May 11, 2016, Overton became a supercentenarian.[6] Following the death of Clarence Matthews (born May 1, 1906) on July 22, 2017, Overton became the oldest living American man.[20] Overton was hospitalized for pneumonia in December 2018. He was placed in a rehabilitation center, where he died on December 27, 2018, aged 112 years 230 days.[21]

Military awards

Personal life

Overton lived in Austin, Texas. On December 11, 2014, Austin Community College recognized Overton with an honorary associate degree, the college's highest distinction.[22]

He was a Protestant and attended church regularly.[23]

On July 1, 2018, it was reported that Overton became a victim of identity theft. A suspect of an unknown origin opened a fake banking account with Overton's Social Security number, accessed his personal checking account, and used the money to gather savings bonds. Overton also had a GoFundMe account which raised over $420,000 for his in-home care.[24] On July 5, 2018, Overton's family announced that Bank of America had restored the funds to his account.[25]

See also

  • List of the verified oldest people


Citation Linkwww.youtube.com"109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile - Short Film Showcase". YouTube. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.cnn.comRoyce-Bartlett, Lindy (November 11, 2013). "Oldest World War II vet Richard Overton, 107, honored by President Obama". CNN. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwjla.comThuman, Scott (November 11, 2013). "Richard Overton honored by President Obama on Veterans Day". WJLA-TV. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.usatoday.comToppo, Greg (November 10, 2013). "Oldest living WWII vet to meet with Obama". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.foxnews.com"Oldest known WWII veteran honored at Arlington ceremony". Fox News. November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.fox7austin.com"Nation's oldest living WWII Combat Veteran Richard Overton turning 110". Fox 7 Austin. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.biography.comBiography.com Editors (November 8, 2017). "Richard Overton Biography". Biography. Retrieved December 29, 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linksearch.ancestry.comNational Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, U.S.: Ancestry.com Operations Inc:::2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S. transcription of record here; accessed September 1, 2015.(subscription required)
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkmemory.loc.govArvine, Richard Overton (2013). "Richard Arvine Overton Collection". memory.loc.gov. Veterans History Project. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.stripes.comMeyer, Brendan (May 11, 2018). "America's oldest living WWII veteran turns 112, fueled by cigars, Dr Pepper and coffee". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.foxnews.comMiller, Joshua Rhett (May 26, 2013). "America's oldest veteran to spend quiet Memorial Day at Texas home". Fox News. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.usatoday.comJackson, David (November 11, 2013). "Obama: 'We will never forget' veterans". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.whitehouse.govPresident Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, White House, November 11, 2013
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linknba.nbcsports.comCarbaugh, Dane (March 24, 2017). "Spurs honor Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. veteran at Military Appreciation Night". ProBasketballTalk. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkgifilmfestival.com"Mr. Overton – GI Film Festival | Reel Stories! Real Heroes!". gifilmfestival.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linklashortsfest.com"LA Shorts Fest". lashortsfest.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.ajc.comVillalpando, Roberto (May 5, 2016). "The man who was America's oldest World War II veteran has died". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Media Group. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.klfy.comJohnson, Dionne (May 4, 2016). "Frank Levingston, Nation's Oldest WWII Veteran, Dies at 110". KLFY. Nexstar Broadcasting. Retrieved February 11, 2018. Richard Arvine Overton is now the oldest surviving American World War II veteran.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.nbcnews.comChuck, Elizabeth (May 2016). "America's Oldest Veteran Richard Overton Celebrates 110th Birthday". NBC News. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM
Citation Linkwww.sfgate.com"Oakland native who was oldest man in the United States dies". www.sfgate.com. July 24, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
Sep 20, 2019, 7:59 PM