The Oldest Man in America Is 112 and Smokes 12 Cigars a Day

He also loves a good whiskey and coke.

Richard Overton has just celebrated 112 years of life this May. He's the oldest man in America and the oldest veteran, and believed to be the third-oldest man in the world. He was born in 1906, served in a segregated Army unit in World War II, and became a celebrity at 106. He once said his secret to longevity is, "Just keep living, don’t die."

This is how Overton keeps living his life without dying.

According to a profile by the Dallas Morning News, Overton wakes up before the sun and gets his vitals checked by one of his around-the-clock caretakers. He starts the day with a Tampa Sweet Perfecto cigar—he'll follow it with as many as 11 more throughout the day. Later, he'll eat something sweet for breakfast, like a cinnamon roll or waffles, and at night something sweet for dessert, like ice cream.

He takes his coffee with three spoonfuls of sugar, and he drinks Dr. Pepper, which he calls "sweet juice." But his favorite drink is a whiskey and Coke.

Overton spends most of his days on his front porch, smoking cigars and greeting the folks who come to take pictures with him. He's outlived his two wives and he doesn't have kids, but he's got extended family who started a GoFundMe page to help pay for his healthcare. For his birthday, there'll be a big party in his front lawn.

Generally speaking, doctors do not recommend smoking 12 cigars a day, or even one. They don't recommend starting (or ending) your day with sugary foods, and they're not too keen on alcohol. But Overton's 112 with "no pains, no aches,” he told Dallas Morning News, and who would you rather believe? Here's to a happy birthday for Overton and a life full of vice.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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