World's Oldest Barber


In Hazzard County
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VAILS GATE, N.Y. — For something like the 300th time, Mike Jaffe settled into Anthony Mancinelli’s chair on a recent Saturday for another haircut and another conversation.

The two men talked about some of the usual things, the weather, happenings around town, while Mr. Jaffe got his usual — a little off the back and a neat trim of his sideburns.

It was the kind of easy banter between any barber and longtime customer. And Mr. Mancinelli has certainly had many such customers.

He started cutting hair when Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. He was 12.

The people at the Guinness Book of World Records who concern themselves with such things have proclaimed Mr. Mancinelli, who turns 99 on March 2, the world’s oldest barber.

“When I started, a haircut and shave cost you two bits — a quarter,” Mr. Mancinelli told Mr. Jaffe, who has been a customer for 25 years. “A while later, it was 25 cents for a haircut and 15 cents extra for a shave.”

Now, a haircut from Mr. Mancinelli costs $12 and, his repeat customers say, his fingers are just as nimble.

“He’s the fastest barber I know, and he still cuts very straight,” said Mr. Jaffe, 60, whose 4-year-old-grandson, Anthony Colonna, also was getting a haircut from Mr. Mancinelli. “To many of us who have been coming here for a long time, he’s like family. I hope he’s still my barber when he’s 125.”

Another longtime customer, Peter LeRose, 60, of Newburgh, N.Y., who was waiting for a haircut along with his 90-year-old father, Peter, paid Mr. Mancinelli and his surgeon-steady hands an even bigger compliment. “He might be pushing 100,” Mr. LeRose said, “but he still gives the best shaves around.”

Watching as Mr. Mancinelli worked his side of the barbershop, Antonio Mugnano, the owner, said with a soft smile: “On a busy day like today, Anthony will take care of 25 to 30 customers. He’s nonstop, has a lot to say and always has a smile on his face, which is why people here love him.”

Mr. Mancinelli, a razor-thin man with a full head of white hair who once owned his own shop on Liberty Street in nearby Newburgh, is now stationed at Antonio & Pasquale Barber Shop, where an old fashioned pole with red, white and blue swirling stripes is mounted outside the front door, and a dizzying array of Italian accents swirls inside.

“My father was only making $25 a week working in a felt mill and he had seven kids to feed, so we really needed the extra money,” said Mr. Mancinelli, who grew up in Newburgh and still lives there. “At that time, learning to become a barber was just a way to make four or five extra bucks a week.”

But Mr. Mancinelli took a liking to the craft — “I enjoy talking to people, it’s the best part of the job,” he said — and for nearly nine decades has been holding forth on topics both mundane and momentous, including the Great Depression, World War II, the Beatles and 27 Yankee championships.

“He’s like a walking history book,” Mr. Mugnano said.

After dusting off Mr. Jaffe’s neck with a brush full of talcum powder, Mr. Mancinelli seated another man, and in a voice just loud enough to be heard over a Filippo Valli song playing on the radio, began telling him how old-school barbers like himself “were once like doctors.”

“I used to have a bottle of leeches on my counter, and I would put them on people’s skin to drain blood,” he said, not noticing that half a dozen men waiting for him and three other barbers were hanging on his every word. “In those days, while giving a haircut, I would put a leech over a black eye to bring down the swelling, or on the arm of someone who had high blood pressure because the thinking was their pressure might drop.”

Joe Annunziata, one of the four barbers at the shop, called Mr. Mancinelli “my inspiration.”

“Look at the shape the man is in. I mean, he’s never worn eyeglasses,” said Mr. Annunziata, 69. “He even cuts his own hair — now that’s talent.”

Mr. Mancinelli, a widower, works at the shop two or three days a week. “I would work every day if they let me,” he said, “but we have a full staff of barbers here.” He attributed his staying power to “eating well and never drinking or smoking.”

Mr. Mancinelli walked to the back of the shop and returned with a copy of Guinness World Records 2009.

“Look here,” he said proudly, pointing to a page in the book that he shared with other record setters: John Simplot, who was the world’s oldest billionaire until he died in 2008 at age 99 at an estimated worth of $3.2 billion; Jeanne Louise Calment, who was 122 and the oldest living actress when she died in 1997; and Bill Wallace, who killed a man in December 1925 and became the oldest living prisoner after serving 63 years in an Australian psychiatric hospital before dying there at the age of 107.

Later in the day, Mr. Mancinelli gave a lollipop to Anthony, Mr. Jaffe’s grandson, patted his head and wheeled around to find the next customer in his chair.

“I’m proud to say that I cut the hair of young boys and their fathers’ hair and their grandfathers’, and sometimes even their great-grandfathers’,” he said. “I still feel like I’m in beautiful shape, so I’m not even considering retirement because coming to work is what keeps me going.”
Anthony Mancinelli, 98, Is the World's Oldest Barber

Kudos to that barber. ;)


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Oh wow, it must be so long for really.

I had went to haircut with old man before and it was okay but hand is usually nervous when cut my hairs so I prefer young to middle aged people to cut my hairs.


In Hazzard County
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Just to update... this is from last year, still doing barber job at 102! (as of now)

Living to 100 is a milestone in itself, but one man in the US state of New York is still working, at the age of 101.

Anthony Mancinelli has been cutting hair for 87 years and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, he is the world’s oldest practicing barber.

As part of Al Jazeera's Still Going Strong series, Kristen Saloomey went to find out what has kept Mancinelli snipping away for all these years.
World's oldest barber still snips away - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Youtube with caption available below:

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Wow. I might be a little nervous having a 102-year old snipping away near my skull. I hope he has a steady hand !! :)


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Yeah, in the original article, it said he has steady hands and furthermore, he's never worn glasses! :shock:


Well-Known Member
Wow. I might be a little nervous having a 102-year old snipping away near my skull. I hope he has a steady hand !! :)
I would about him having a heart attack while cutting my hair! I feel the same way , I would be nervous too, I had people a lot younger than that did not have steady hands cut my hair.


Active Member
If i was near there, I would!, and have a good brag, the world's oldest barber did mine, and show off the cuts from the most experienced hair cutter...
i would Not be nervous...nah look at other people going there now, they trust me like unflinching, its like so what, he can cut!, and still cut great hair, look at the video, see? he certainly do know what he is doing
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In Hazzard County
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Well... this oldest barber is still around ;)

Not only does he still have hair — he still cuts it, too.

Anthony Mancinelli, certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest barber on the planet, celebrated his 105th birthday Wednesday in New Windsor, N.Y.

The snipping centenarian was honored with a proclamation from Orange County legislators, according to WABC-TV — which also profiled him last month.

"Hours don't matter with me. I don't get tired. I keep going," he told the network.

With his birthday in sight, Mancinelli was asked then how he'll commemorate the occasion.

"Come to work," the veteran clipper told ABC7.

Mancinelli was just 12 years old when he began lowering clients' ears more than 90 years ago, back when Calvin Coolidge was in the White House.

"His work is wonderful. He's got a heart of gold. He cares about the clientele. He cares about people," Jane Dinezza, owner of the Fantastic Cuts salon, told the network.

Even at 105, he also still cares about his own appearance. And who else could Mancinelli trust to groom his hair properly?

"I cut it last night," he said in ABC7's segment. "How is it?"