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February 13: The Oldest Marine

February 13, 2013

Before he died at 92 on this date in 2011 in Overland Park, Kansas, Irving Schlossenberg had been the oldest living Marine Corps combat correspondent. Schlossenberg had been classified 4-F, but underwent foot surgery and entered the Marines in World War II. He was assigned to be a combat correspondent and participated in five major campaigns in the Pacific, including four wave landings, and was awarded four bronze stars. Before the war, Schlossenberg had worked as a photographer for the Washington Post. On Opening Day of the 1940 baseball season, he had convinced President Franklin Roosvelt to throw out the Opening Pitch a second time, so Schlossenberg could get a better photograph; the resulting wild pitch had smashed his camera. Schlossenberg was married to the same woman for 64 years and worked after the war as an encyclopedia salesman.

"It is a generation of towering achievement and modest demeanor, a legacy of their formative years when they were participants in and witness to sacrifices of the highest order." —Tom Brokaw