TWO elderly brothers who were separated when one was sent to an orphanage aged two have finally been reunited after more than 80 years apart.
Ed Muir, 84, travelled from his home in Naples, Florida to Fargo, North Dakota to see his brother, Kenneth Corcoran, 82, after Corcoran's family tracked him down using the internet.
"I recognised him as soon as he came off (the plane)," Corcoran told WDAY-TV.
"Well, 80 years. I looked and said, there he is."
The boys were split up after their mother died in 1932 and their father feared he could not afford to raise them.
Muir and another brother stayed at home in Chicago, while Corcoran and two more siblings were sent to an orphanage.
The three siblings who were sent to the orphanage changed their names and were raised in different states, with Corcoran growing up in North Dakota.
"I worried about them," Muir told the Naples News.
"I often thought about the rest of my family how they ever turned out, but I had no idea."
But as it happens, the brothers did not turn out too dissimilar.
They both served in the military, raised their children in the same way and share the identical favourite song —Wabash Cannonball.
Muir joined the Air Force in 1946 and later married and raised four children in Chicago.
He worked as an electrician until 1987, and moved to Naples, Florida in 1997.
Corcoran also joined the Navy as a young man, worked as a railroad lineman, married and raised six children. Their three other siblings — two brothers and a sister — have all since died.
The brothers were reunited with the help of the internet and a lot of willing relatives.
Corcoran's daughter, Pam Gregerson, spent nine years trying to track down her father's sibling's names, birth dates and hometowns.
But she only realised years into the search that Corcoran had changed his surname to that of his mother's maiden name.
Struggling to come up with any trace of him, Gregerson's teenage son Alex stepped in last month.
"He said, 'Mom you need a break, just go away, let me play with this'," she recounted.
"And within 15 minutes he's yelling, 'Mom get in here, I think I found him', and he did."
Within hours, they were speaking with Muir on the phone and booking plane tickets.
She added: "Those two old guys are totally twins. They're identical.
"They look alike, they act alike, how they raised us. Everything is the same."
Corcoran agreed: "We got together and joked and it wasn't two or three days later, it was right from the start.
"Well that's family. That's the way it goes." He added that he plans to fly to Florida as soon as he can.
"I want to see him every day," he said.
"We're not going to make it another 80 years before we see each other."
Muir agreed it had been fantastic getting to know his long-lost brother.
"Eighty years is a long time being separated," said Muir.
"It's sad to think of all those lost years. I don't know how to make up for it. I just told him I'm glad we were able to get in touch with one another."
* Source: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK