2018 Man of the Year: Richard Overton (1906-2018)

Richard Overton
Richard Overton

112-year-old Richard Overton persevered for another year after falling victim to the worst humanity has to offer and, in turn, being sustained by the best it can muster.

Overton is now a two-time Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year honoree. He was first awarded the title back in 2014 at the tender age of 108 for his embodiment of everything great about America. The cigar-smoking whiskey-drinking gun-wielding World War II veteran has spent his golden years taking shots with governors and being recognized by presidents.

He's been generous with life advice over the years.

"Whiskey's a good medicine," he told Fox News in 2014. "It keeps your muscles tender."

He likes tommy guns, his M1 Garand, and army-issue shotguns but he says he has a special fondness for his revolver.

"I lay one of those things right there by my bed when I go to sleep," Overton said while showing off his gun collection to a film crew in 2015. "That's my friend."

In 2016, he told filmmakers about how whiskey, cigars, Ford trucks, cats, church, family, and friends make him happy and keep him going. That film was featured in a short film festival hosted by National Geographic.

In June 2018, Overton's identity was stolen. His bank account was drained by the thief. This put the round-the-clock homecare he relies on to stay in the home he built in 1945 at risk.

Overton's family put out a call for help in the immediate aftermath of the robbery and the American public responded. A GoFundMe account initially set up to help pay for the homecare received an influx of donations to sure up the veteran's financial situation. Bank of America also restored control of the account to Overton's family and restored all of the money that had been stolen.

Police have yet to catch the thief who took over control of Overton's bank account but his GoFundMe account was not compromised and is still taking donations.

Overton has also battled and overcome pneumonia throughout the year. He is currently in the hospital battling it once more, according to his family. They are asking for prayers but remain hopeful he will come through this bought and are already looking forward to his potential 113th birthday party on May 11, 2019.

"If I can get that good happy day, I'll enjoy that," Overton told Guns.com in 2015. "If they give me that, I'll be happy on that."

We at the Free Beacon salute Mr. Overton's perseverance and hope the Greatest Living American has enough happy days left to receive a third Man of the Year title in the future.