Does Smoking Shorten Your Life? Ask This 111 Year Old Man Who Won’t Give Up!

Born in Bastrop County Texas May 11th, 1906, Richard Arvin Overton a supercentenarian aged 111 years loves his cigars and whiskey.

Richards who currently resides in Austin Texas has a daily routine that usually consists of waking up around 3 am in the morning to three or four cups of coffee, sitting on his porch, drinking whiskey and smoking up to a dozen cigars throughout the day. Richard became is the oldest verified surviving United States war veteran after the death of Frank Levingston, a man of African American heritage from Bossier Parish, Lake Charles. Richard has also been honored by former United States President Barack Obama.

Enlisting in the U.S Army in September of 1940, Richard served in the South Pacific from 1940 through to 1945. During this time he was stationed in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and the notorious Iwo Jima. When Richard left the army in October 1945 he was a corporal, technician fifth Grade. After the war, Richard worked at a local furniture store in Austin before taking a position with the Texas Department of Treasury.

Meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry on the 2013 Memorial Day Ceremony, Richard was invited to the White House and met the then U.S President Barack Obama in the Blue Room. Richard was also invited to the Veterans Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery where Richard was singled out by name and praised by the former President. It was at the 2013 Memorial Day Weekend when he gained media attention by proclaiming he would spend the day “smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee.”

Richard Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary in which Richard is interviewed about his military service, daily routine and his thoughts on his longevity. The documentary did the rounds on the film festival circuit at the time. In November 2015 Richard was hospitalized with pneumonia at the age of 109, recovering from that episode he has hospitalized with pneumonia once again within a week of his 111th birthday.

Since then a GoFundMe page has been set up to ensure that Richard can stay at home instead of being moved to a nursing home. If you’re looking for help and support on this or other health matters, check out The Better You, an independent health and fitness guide.