Former Junee resident James Harrison - who was once nicknamed the "Man with the Golden Arm" because of his six decades of blood donation - was named as a finalist in the 2020 NSW Australian of the Year awards.
Mr Harrison, 82, who now lives on the Central Coast, was one of four finalists in the Senior Australian of the Year category.
Ultimately, the award went to Belligen woman Sue Lennox, a 67-year-old who founded OzGREEN, which teaches young people how to take positive environmental action.
Mr Harrison said he was honoured to have been nominated and also glad that the award ceremony highlighted the importance of blood donation.
"It was nice to be able to bring it to the public attention," he said.
After receiving a blood transfusion during an operation to remove a lung when he was just 14, Mr Harrison decided he would become a regular blood donor - a promise he kept for 63 years and more than 1170 donations.
Mr Harrison's efforts were deemed to be particularly vital from the mid-1960s, when it was discovered that his blood contained a rare antibody that could help the fight against Rhesus disease, an illness which can be fatal for unborn and newborn babies.
At one time, Mr Harrison's plasma was in every batch of Anti-D, the vaccine used to successfully vaccinate mothers against Rhesus disease.
His own daughter Tracey needed to have the Anti-D vaccination before the birth of her second son.
It has been estimated that through his donations, Mr Harrison saved the lives of at least 2.4 million babies.
He made his last donation in 2018 at the age of 81. Usually blood donors retire at the age of 80.
Mr Harrison was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999 for his efforts.