×
America's Oldest Veteran, Lawrence Brooks, Dies At 112

America's Oldest Veteran, Lawrence Brooks, Dies At 112

His daughter says she now plans to bury her father wearing his uniform, as he requested.

Lawrence N. Brooks, a World War II veteran in the US, passed away on January 5, 2021, according to the Associated Press. Brooks is believed to be the oldest man in the country and his death was announced by the National WWII Museum and confirmed by his daughter, Vanessa Brooks. 

Brooks, born on Sept. 12, 1909, was known for his good-natured sense of humor, positivity, and kindness. When asked for his secret to a long life, he often said, “serving God and being nice to people.”

“I don’t have no hard feelings toward nobody,” he said during a 2014 oral history interview with the museum. “I just want everything to be lovely, to come outright. I want people to have fun and enjoy themselves — be happy and not sad.”



 

 

When asked if he ever faced issues with regard to racism, he said he didn't. “My officers were good to me,” said Brooks. “I never had any problems.” When he was asked in 2021 about what he would like his legacy to be, he said his thoughts returned to the war. “I would like to be remembered as a strong man,” said Brooks, “A good soldier.

Brooks’ daughter and caregiver, Vanessa Brooks, told Military Times that her father’s health had deteriorated over the months, forcing him to make frequent visits to the hospital. Despite his age and failing health, he had still been alert and was able to enjoy the holidays and watch his favorite team, the New Orleans Saints play. 



 

 

When Brooks breathed his last, he died as per his wish, in his own bed in his home in New Orleans. His daughter says she now plans to bury her father wearing his uniform, as he requested.

Vanessa then went on to describe him as “resilient.” “He’s been through a lot. He’s real tough, and that’s one thing I learned from him. If nothing else, he instilled in me, ‘Do your best and whatever you can’t do, it doesn’t make no sense to worry about it,’” she said. “I think that’s why he has lived as long as he has.”

Tributes have been pouring in since his death. Actor Gary Sinise, who is an avid advocate for U.S. military veterans, tweeted, “An American hero passed away this morning. Lawrence Brooks, the oldest living WWII vet at 112 years old. Here we are at National WWII Museum in New Orleans when he was 106 years old. He certainly had an incredibly long life. God bless you, sir. An honor to know you. Rest In Peace.”



 

References:

https://apnews.com/article/new-orleans-race-and-ethnicity-racial-injustice-veterans-world-war-ii-7f524c95f9b3ac8f52ee487ed16a4cf1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdpR__EwEGk

https://www.militarytimes.com/military-honor/salute-veterans/2022/01/05/oldest-us-world-war-ii-veteran-dies-at-112-in-new-orleans/

https://twitter.com/garysinise?lang=en

Cover Image Source: YouTube | The National WWII Museum ( Lawrence Brooks Oral History)