Retirement is bliss for most people; but not for Anthony Mancinelli, a 107-year-old man who still works at a salon despite his age. In 2012, he was recognized by Guinness World Records as the “World’s Oldest Barber.”
Anthony Manicelli has been working as a barber for more than 90 years now and doesn’t have any plan to retire anytime soon. He works full time at Fantastic Cuts five days a week and seems to love his job as a barber.
He started cutting hair when he was 11 and pursued his passion up to this day. Despite his busy days at work, he went on to have a family of his own and had been married for 69 years. Manicelli said he goes to the cemetery every day before work to visit his wife who died 14 years ago.
His son, Bob Mancinelli who is now 85, said, “He’s in a better shape than I am and he’s still going, still working 5 days a week. I retired when I was 81.”
Amazingly, Manicelli is also the oldest resident in their town, Newburgh. When people go to their salon, they are astonished by the exceptional prowess and vitality of the old barber. On the other hand, a lot of locals already know Mancinelli and some of them prefer him as their barber.
“I don’t let anyone else touch my hair. The guy’s been cutting hair for a century,” said John O’Rourke, one of the regulars at the salon where Mancinelli works.
Albeit his snow-white hair, Mancinelli has a lean build and a firm hand, helping him do the magic to the customers’ hair. Apparently, a lot of customers admire his strength and professionalism.
Jane Dinezza, the shop owner, is all praise to his healthy and hardworking barber, “He never calls in sick. I have young people with knee and back problems, but he just keeps going. He can do more haircuts than a 20-year-old kid. They’re sitting there looking at their phones, texting or whatever, and he’s working.”
When asked about his longevity, Mancinelli only offered that his satisfaction at work keeps him healthy apart from not being a smoker and a heavy drinker. According to him, “I only go to the doctor because people tell me to, but even he can’t understand it. I tell him I have no aches, no pains, no nothing. Nothing hurts me.”
He also said that he continues to work to keep himself busy and energetic after his wife’s death. Many customers ask Mancinelli for advice on what food to eat and what medicine to take, even what anti-aging cream they need to use.
As for cutting styles, Mancinelli easily adapted to the changes over the years. He said, “I cut them all, long hair, short hair, whatever was in style — the shag, the Buster Brown, straight bangs, permanents.”
Moreover, he no longer applies the old medical techniques he learned from older barbers such as using leeches and burning off warts for high blood pressure or swelling.
Every year, the salon closes for Mancinelli’s birthday party where the food was often donated by the town’s supermarket. The old barber has been popular all over the world that even celebrities wanted to have their hair done by Mancinelli. One of them was actor Ben Gazarra, who came to Manhattan for a haircut 10 years ago.
When Mancinelli applied to Dinezza’s salon, her receptionist ignored his application but he applied again and the owner was impressed by his cutting aptitude.
Dinezza stated, “Now, I feel like I’m working for him. I get a million and one phone calls from people all over the world who have heard about him and want to visit.”
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Watch Mr. Mancinell in action and prepare to be inspired!