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Washington D.C.
Cornyn Honors Richard Overton’s Legacy on the Senate Floor
News Release
Thursday, January 10, 2019

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) honored the life and legacy of Richard Overton, an Austinite and World War II veteran who was America’s oldest living man before he recently passed away at 112 years old. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“I want to share a few words about an American hero I had the pleasure to get to know, Mr. Richard Arvin Overton.”

“In 1940, Richard enlisted in the United States Army and he began his military service at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. Serving with the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion, an all-black unit, one of his first stops was Pearl Harbor the day after what we now know is the West Loch Disaster.”

“His service included stops in Guam, Palu, and Iwo Jima where he witnessed firsthand some of the darkest days in our country's modern history. When the war ended, Richard returned to Texas and built a home on Hamilton Avenue.”

“His comments about the keys to his longevity and his long life, in particular his daily routine, made Richard an internet sensation. His penchant for enjoying coffee with whiskey and twelve cigars a day won hearts and caused all of us to question the secret to his long life. Richard also enjoyed a bowl of ice cream every night, always butter pecan. He called this the ‘Overton Diet’ and welcomed anyone interested to give it a shot.”

“I remember the day my wife and I, Sandy, met him at his home in Austin, and I was taken aback to learn he had just gotten through mowing his lawn that morning. 107 years old and still mowing his lawn.”

“Yesterday, I introduced a resolution with my colleague, Senator Cruz, to honor this great man and his military service and his enduring legacy. Our country's lost a true patriot, our state has lost a legend, and our community has lost a dear friend.”

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.




Remembering Jim Guidry


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