Nation's Oldest Living WWII Vet Turns 110, Vows To Walk Daughter Down Aisle: 'God Has Let Me Live This Long'


Lawrence Brooks — the oldest known living American World War II veteran — turned 110 on Thursday in New Orleans and plans to walk his daughter down the aisle when she gets married in December.

The Times-Picayune reported that Brooks succeeded to his status of oldest living WWII veteran following the passing of Richard Overton of Austin, Texas last December at the age of 112.

Brooks served in the U.S. Army between 1940 and 1945, primarily in the African-American 91st Engineering Battalion in the Pacific theater of the war.

He was born Sept. 12, 1909, during the presidency of Howard Taft.

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To give some further perspective, World War II Gen. George S. Patton graduated from West Point that same year.

Brooks was one of 15 children from a farming family who lived in Norwood, near the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans began a tradition of throwing the veteran a birthday party starting in 2014, when he turned 105.

“We absolutely love Mr. Brooks,” museum vice president Peter Crean told The Times-Picayune. “We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.'”

“We consider him ‘our veteran.'”

The museum’s Victory Belles performers were on hand last week to sing for the supercentenarian.

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Brooks retired as a fork lift operator four decades ago at the age of 70.

The Louisianan had five children (two of whom have predeceased him), and lives with one of his daughters, 59-year-old Vanessa Brooks.

The father plans to walk his daughter down the aisle when she gets married on Dec. 14.

“Brooks not only has promised to walk her down the aisle but also dance, using ‘my third leg,’ as he calls his walker,” according to The Times-Picayune.

“I don’t know why I’ve lived this long,” he told the newspaper. “But I think it has a lot to do with always being nice to people.”

“I’ve started to think about not having many birthdays left,” Brooks added. “But I’m not worried about it, because God has let me live this long already.”

“I think it’s because I’ve always liked people so much. Oh yes, I do.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith