Richard Overton: America’s Oldest WWII Vet Celebrating 111th Birthday

Richard Overton:  America’s Oldest WWII Vet Celebrating 111th Birthday

AUSTIN, TexasRichard Overton, the nation’s oldest living World War II veteran, celebrated his 111th birthday in Austin on Thursday.

The festivities for the supercentenarian were held at the UT Club.

As a gift for Overton, the city of Austin is renaming Hamilton Avenue, the street he calls home, Richard Overton Avenue.

Mayor Steve Adler also declared Thursday “Richard Overton Day.”

“I used to drink whiskey a long time ago, I always drank a little bit–it’s what kept me alive, living so long, ” says Overton, never shy about his key to longevity. “Whiskey help ya the same as medicine if you take it right.”

A birthday lunch was held for Overton — attended by Austin mayor Steve Adler — at the University of Texas Club in Austin, ABC affiliate KVUE reported.

“Celebrating Richard Overton’s 111th birthday is a chance to celebrate what is best about our country and our community,” Adler tweeted. “Happy birthday!”

Earlier this year, more than $169,000 was raised in a GoFundMe campaign to provide Overton with around-the-clock in-home care. His third cousin, Volma Overton Jr., began the campaign after it was feared that Overton would be forced to moved to an assisted living facility.

Overton said he has used the money to hire an in-home senior care provider to provide 24-7 support.

Each year, Overton’s birthday has attracted worldwide attention — much to the surprise of the veteran.

“I’m really surprised, I really didn’t know there was going to be this many people. I knew it was going to be somebody, but I didn’t know it was going to be like this and I really enjoyed it,” Overton said about his 109th birthday party in 2015.

Richard Overton
Richard Overton

In 2016, around two dozen people gathered at his East Austin home to wish the supercentarian a happy birthday. Some took pictures or selfies with Mr. Overton.

A few of Overton’s secrets to good health: Smoking a cigar everyday, having an occasional whiskey and surrounding himself with good friends.

“I can smoke a cigar and be happy… I’ve been smoking them since I was 18-years-old,” said Overton.

Plans for his 112th birthday celebration are not yet known

Share this post