The world’s oldest barber, 107-year-old Anthony Mancinelli, cuts hair on weekdays in New Windsor, New York.
Standing in the modern Fantastic Cuts salon, with late-2000s pop music wafting through the ceiling, Mancinelli held his original hand-powered cutting shearers and explained how great they were when wasn’t readily available.
“For one customer, the power went out not too long ago too — and I was able to finish him just the same with these,” Mancinelli said.
Anthony Mancinelli has been cutting hair for 96 years, having started when he was 11. That puts his first job back during the Harding administration He witnessed World War I as a young Italian boy and served in World War II as an American man.
Mancinelli still works full-time, five days a week, from noon-to-8 p.m.
The Guinness World Records was the first to recognize him as the world’s oldest barber in 2007. And since then, the awards and letters have drifted in—a letter from Michelle Obama, a note by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, a positive message from a fellow barber company — all congratulating him on his achievement. Then he has another birthday and breaks the record again.
When will he retire? “When the old man comes and gets me,” Mancinelli said, sincere but matter-of-factly.
His New York State Barber license expires on October 31, 2020. If his current health and spryness is any indication of the future, it’s not hard to imagine he’ll probably need to get it renewed before he finally sets down the clippers.
“Whatever you do,” Mancinelli advised, “you have to like to keep going.”