The world’s oldest barber, Anthony Mancinelli, has died at the age of 108.
Anthony died earlier this month after 96 years of cutting hair. He never retired and, according to his son, said he still found passion in his work even after such a long time.
Last year, Anthony earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the being the oldest practising barber in the world.
You can watch Anthony in action here, which was filmed last year:
Born on March 2, 1911, in Italy, Anthony immigrated to the US at the age of eight along with his parents and seven siblings. He started working in barber shops when he was 11 to help bring in money for the family. By the time he was 12, he was working full time as a barber.
As Guinness World Records states:
Mr Mancinelli was born in Montemilone, Potenza, Italy, and, aged eight, boarded the SS Caserta to the United States with his family, arriving in New York on 12 September 1919. His father supported a wife and eight children on $25 a week as a felt worker, so Anthony went to work in barbershops when he was just 11. By 1923, aged 12, Anthony was cutting hair full time.
Anthony was cutting hair for 96 years, and never made plans to retire. It was only around six weeks before his death he said he didn’t feel well and needed to rest, as his son, Robert, told CNN.
According to Robert, Anthony ‘just loved his job’ and ‘everybody loved him, he’s known worldwide’.
His son added Anthony had been healthy most of his life, until he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Still, the 108-year-old never planned to retire, and said he would return to work.
When he started cutting hair, Anthony charged 25 cents. At the time of his death, he was charging $19 per cut. He worked at Fantastic Cuts in New Windsor.
Jane Dinezza, the owner of Fantastic Cuts, told CNN:
He’s a legend. One of the TV stations asked who would work in his chair now. I didn’t think of it then, but could anybody fill that chair? No.
Jane said she plans to keep the chair empty as a memorial to Anthony. His son Robert, who has had his hair cut by Anthony for all 82 years of his life, said: ‘I got to find a new barber now.’
A week before his death, Anthony was inducted into the Barber Museum Hall of Fame in Ohio.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.