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Centenarian Who Inspired The U.K. With His Fundraising Walks Has Died

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Captain Tom Moore has died. He was a British veteran of World War II and was 100 years old. He died of COVID-19 but not before performing one more service. And, Noel, you're just going to have to help me if I choke up here. In his 100th year, he raised $40 million to help Britain's National Health Service fight the coronavirus that later killed him.

NOEL KING, HOST:

And he did it by walking. There was this really popular video of Moore walking around and around his garden patio, all for charity.

INSKEEP: Mr. Moore's grandson Colin Ingram promised to pay his granddad one pound, one British pound, per lap. That challenge was posted on social media and turned into a widespread campaign to raise money for the health service. Here's the BBC capturing Mr. Moore's final lap last May.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Inches to go and there he is.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Congratulations. Well done. Absolutely amazing, amazing achievement. Captain Tom, how do you feel this morning?

TOM MOORE: Fine. I'm in this. I mean, I'm surrounded by the right sort of people. So, yes, I feel fine. I hope you're all feeling fine, too.

KING: Captain Tom Moore received a knighthood. And here's British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON: He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world.

INSKEEP: His doctor was Claire Alajooz of the Royal College of Physicians. And she says every time he came for an appointment, he had a smile on his face and brought the staff chocolates that he hoped would keep them going.

KING: He had many admirers. Here's Lieutenant Colonel Tom Miller in a video from the Yorkshire Regiment.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

THOMAS MILLER: A truly inspirational individual who had captured the hearts of the nation over these testing times with his infectious energy, drive and determination.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BAND OF H.M. ROYAL GUARDS' "WELLINGTON MARCH")

INSKEEP: After his death at age 100, Britain's National Health Service put out a one-line tweet - thanks for everything, Sir Tom.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BAND OF H.M. ROYAL GUARDS' "WELLINGTON MARCH") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.