Richard Overton, the oldest man in the United States, died this Thursday at 112 years of age in Austin (Texas) because of pneumonia, his family reported on social media.
Born in May of 1906, Overton was also the longest-serving American veteran of World War II.
In that contest, Overton served in a battalion of aviation engineers, composed only of African-Americans, in the battle of the Pacific.
“He was in Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still burning, he was in Okinawa, he was in Iwo Jima, where he said, ‘I just left there by the grace of God’,” said former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) during a tribute to Overton in 2013
Overton had become an icon of his city, Austin, which renamed the small street where he lived in the eastern sector of the Texas capital, mostly African-American.
Many curious people came to his house, where he used to spend hours on his porch smoking or drinking whiskey, his recipe for longevity. Their anniversary parties, on May 11, had become a phenomenon in the city.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, lamented in a statement the death of Overton, which he described as “American icon and Texas legend.” (EFEUSA) .-