While celebrating his 111th birthday on May 11, Overton revealed the secret to his long life to a local ABC News affiliate KVUE: cigars and whiskey, every day:
“It’s just so amazing to be able to look at him, all this knowledge that he has in his mind just so much history,” said [cousin Shimanda] Piper. “He doesn’t take any medicine, it’s amazing.”
“How many cigars have you had this morning?” a friend asked Overton.
“About 3 or 4, y’all have been holding me down,” said Overton. “I always drink a little bit, it’s kept me alive, I’ve been living so long.”
After enlisting in the Army at Fort Sam Houston in 1940, Overton survived the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that vaulted the U.S. into World War II. He made stops all across the Pacific theater before leaving the Army as a corporal in 1945.
On Thursday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared “Richard Overton Day” to honor the longtime Texas resident, who still drives his late-1970s Ford pick-up through town like it’s no big deal.
“I feel good going on driving,” Overton — then the spry age of 110 — told National Geographic in February. “I like to drive myself, ‘cause other drivers, they drive crazy.”
God bless you, Mr. Overton. If there was ever a patron saint of badassery, it’s you.
Watch the February NatGeo documentary on Overton below: