News & Politics

Two 101-Year-Old Washingtonians Died Recently, and They Both Led Fascinating Lives

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Two recent obituaries for 101-year-olds showcased some remarkable lives in the Washington area.

Herbert Tabor was the longest-serving employee at the National Institutes of Health. He died August 20 from respiratory failure. He gave the first-ever injection of penicillin, provided medical care during a World War II battle with a German submarine, and lived on the NIH campus, Bart Barnes writes in a Washington Post obituary. One notable detail:

Dr. Tabor gradually began to tire after age 100 and pulled back from daily work in his laboratory. But, according to his son Edward, he had so much leave accumulated he remained on the NIH staff until his death.

Doyle Royal fought with the 90th Infantry Division in World War II and was awarded the Silver Star and a Purple Heart for destroying a German tank on his own, Suzanne Pollak writes for Montgomery Community Media. He was the first men’s soccer coach at the University of Maryland, where he led the team to 17 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and  one national championship. He was also head coach of Maryland’s men’s tennis team and the oldest member of Bethesda’s Edgemoor Club. And:

Besides coaching, Royal played competitive tennis throughout the country, competing in every age group for 85 years. He won a bronze medal at the World Olympic Senior Singles tournament when he was in his mid-sixties.


Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.