Samuel Roberson, an 82-year-old African-American named one of the world’s longest living people, died on July 13 in Richmond, Va.
Roberson, who died on his birthday, lived well beyond his due date and shared his secret to living so long: eating salt, drinking nothing but water and taking a daily dose of vitamin C.
According to his family, Roberson, who hailed from Georgia, was a barrel-chested man. He was 5 feet 8 inches and weighed 250 pounds, and he wore size 10 shoes.
In his latter years, he lived in a sober living center and later a nursing home in Richmond’s East End.
Here’s how he celebrated his birthday.
The family told CBS that they received several cards from friends, past and present, including Washington Post Ombudsman Patrick Pexton.
The paper also reported on his childhood in Riverdale, Ga., where he played baseball at Tulane University in New Orleans after graduating in the late 1940s.
“His father is said to have taught him how to have a cook’s chicken so they could eat throughout the day,” his family told CBS.
He played for the Atlanta Americans of the Negro Leagues, saying he became “a professional player because he had only one gear. That was the speed of his mouth,” the report said.
In the summer of 1953, he met future wife Opal in a grocery store and began dating.
During World War II, according to the Washington Post, Roberson took an overseas volunteer mission with a Luftwaffe reservist unit, accompanying U.S. troops to battle against Gen. Patton’s troops.
He and Opal spent more than 40 years in Virginia before moving to West Virginia, according to an obituary in the Free Lance-Star.
Roberson earned a law degree, ran for office several times, worked for UPS and ran a printing business before his death.