Capt. Sir Thomas Moore, the British World War II veteran who captured hearts around the world when he raised millions of dollars for healthcare workers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, has died. He was 100.
The announcement was made on his official Twitter account Tuesday, featuring a photo of Moore with the text, "1920-2021."
Moore's death comes after he was hospitalized with pneumonia in Bedford, England on Sunday. He had tested positive for COVID-19 the week before, according to his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, "The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Cpt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world."
Moore was once called "a beacon of light through the fog of coronavirus" by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It was in April 2020 that Moore, at 99 years of age, set out to walk 100 laps around his garden with the aid of a walker weeks before his 100th birthday to raise funds for the U.K.'s National Health Service.
His goal was to give back to healthcare staffers amid the crisis, as two years earlier, he'd received care from them after slipping and fracturing his hip, and was "eternally grateful" for their work, according to The Captain Tom Foundation.
He hoped to raise the equivalent of about $1,400 — and instead pulled in more than $45 million, according to ABC News.
The impressive act even inspired 125,000 people to send Moore cards in celebration of his birthday later that month. The letters came from all over the globe, and included messages from Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton, former Olympian Kelly Holmes and English football star Harry Kane.
To further honor the veteran, all letters sent through Royal Mail for the week of his birthday were marked with a special stamp to commemorate him becoming a centenarian.
In July 2020, Moore was knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle, officially giving him the title of "Sir."
"It is such a huge honour," Moore tweeted ahead of the event. "I am very much looking forward to meeting Her Majesty The Queen. It is going to be the most special of days for me."
Born in Keighley, Yorkshire, Moore attended Keighley Grammar School before earning an apprenticeship as a civil engineer. At the beginning of World War II, he was enlisted in the 8 DWR (145 RAC) of the British Army.
He was later selected for officer training in 1940 and went on to serve in India, Indonesia and England.
After his wife Pamela died in 2006, Moore moved in with his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, her husband and their two children in Bedfordshire, CNN reported.
Moore also starred in a cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" with singer Michael Ball, which went viral on YouTube and has become a No. 1 single in the U.K. Proceeds from the chart-topper benefited the NHS.
"We're in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support," Moore told BBC of his hit song. "And this just proves, 'you'll never walk alone.'"
Moore also holds the Guinness World Record for the most money raised by an individual through a walk.
He was admitted to Bedford Hospital on Sunday, his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said in a statement on his Twitter account.
"I want to update everybody that today (Sunday 31st January) my father was admitted to the hospital," she wrote. "Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for COVID-19."
Ingram-Moore continued, "He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing. He is being treated in a ward, although he is not in ICU."
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