Watch CBS News

100-year-old Captain Tom Moore hoped his charity walk would raise $1,200. It's soared to about $40 million

U.K. WWII veteran "Captain Tom" turns 100
Captain Tom, veteran who raised millions of dollars for coronavirus fight, turns 100 05:46

Two WWII fighter planes flew over the home of British veteran Tom Moore Thursday morning to mark his 100th birthday. Moore, known as "Captain Tom," caught the attention of people around the world for his record-breaking charity walk that raised tens of millions of dollars to fight the coronavirus.

Moore, who was made an honorary colonel on Wednesday, received more than 125,000 birthday cards, including one from the queen. Last year, he got "maybe five or six or seven," he told CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata. 

A lot has changed since Moore's charity walk supporting overwhelmed health care workers.

"They all deserve a good pat on the back because they're all working so hard, and they continue to work hard and putting themselves into mortal danger day after day," Moore said.

His daughter, Hannah, said she believes her father stepped up at just the right time.

"It was the message of hope and it's the message that we are all united and it is the message that it doesn't take one generation, we're all in it together," she said.

Moore also got praise from Prince William: "He's a one-man fundraising machine, and God knows what the final total will be." 

Moore had hoped to raise maybe $1,200, but it has soared to about $40 million, as of Thursday morning.

"That's a lot of dollars — isn't it," Moore said.

Even when he'd finished his walk, Moore also took part in a charity single, "You'll Never Walk Alone," and became the oldest British number one artist ever.

"I was absolutely amazed, I must say. It brought a smile to my face because I thought, 'Oh dear, look at all the musical people who've been pushed off the top slot throughout the world,'" he said.

People like The Weeknd, who urged his fans to get Moore to number one over his own "Blinding Lights."

About the only thing that makes Moore happier than the love he has received is giving it all back.

"One day the clouds will roll by and we'll all be very happy people again. It will happen," he said. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.