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Captain Tom Moore, World War II veteran famous for COVID fundraising, dies at 100

Remembering Captain Sir Tom Moore
Remembering Captain Sir Tom Moore 02:20

Captain Tom Moore, the World War II veteran who walked into the hearts of a nation in lockdown as he shuffled up and down his garden to raise money for health care workers, has died after testing positive for COVID-19. He was 100.

His family announced Moore's death Tuesday in a tweet with his photo. Two days earlier, the family posted a statement saying he'd been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus.

Captain Tom, as he became known in newspaper headlines and TV interviews, set out to raise 1,000 pounds (about $1,300) for Britain's National Health Service by walking 100 laps of his backyard. But his quest went viral and caught the imagination of millions stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic. Donations poured in from across Britain and as far away as the United States and Japan, raising some 33 million pounds (over $40 million).

"That's a lot of dollars — isn't it," Moore told CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata.

FILE PHOTO: Captain Sir Tom Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore smiles as he launches his autobiography book, "Tomorrow will be a Good Day," at his home in Milton Keynes, Britain, on  September 17, 2020. DYLAN MARTINEZ / REUTERS

After he'd finished his walk, Moore also took part in a charity single, "You'll Never Walk Alone," and became the oldest British No. 1 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.

Moore was honored with a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth in July. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called him "a true national treasure."

For three weeks in April, fans were greeted with daily videos of Captain Tom, stooped with age, doggedly pushing his walker in the garden. But it was his sunny attitude during a dark moment that inspired people to look beyond illness and loss.

"Please always remember, tomorrow will be a good day," Moore said in an interview during his walk, uttering the words that became his trademark.

Captain Tom knighted by Queen Elizabeth II 01:40
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