Anthony Mancinelli, world's oldest working barber, dies at 108

He was the world's oldest working barber, and he cut hair for nearly a century.

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Anthony Mancinelli, who earned that distinction from Guinness World Records in 2007, died Thursday in his New Windsor, New York home, the Herald-Record of Middletown reported. He was 108.

Mancinelli worked until July, cutting hair the last five years at Fantastic Cuts in New Windsor.

"He was incredible, his work was phenomenal, he was phenomenal," Jane Dinezza, the owner of Fantastic Cuts, told the Times Record-Herald. "I can't explain it; if we all were like him, the world would be a better place."

Mancinelli was born March 2, 1911, in Montemilone, Italy, according to the Guinness website. He came to the United States in September 1919 and lived with a relative in Newburgh, New York, the Daily Voice of White Plains reported. He began cutting hair when he was 11, and by the time he was 12 he was cutting hair on a full-time basis, the newspaper reported.

Mancinelli opened Anthony's Barbershop in Newburgh in 1930 when he was 19 years old, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported. He owned the shop for 40 years, and after that worked at other salons.

Mancinelli was inducted into the Barbers Museum and Hall of Fame, according to his obituary.

The World War II veteran was grand marshal of the New Windsor Memorial Day parade for 13 years, according to the Mid-Hudson News. March 2 was declared Anthony Mancinelli Day in Orange County, the newspaper reported.

Some of Mancinelli's more notable customers included actor Ben Gazzara, the barber told Hudson Valley Magazine in February.

" I cut his hair in my old shop," Mancinelli told the magazine. "He had nice hair."

In April, Mancinelli went to Washington, D.C., as part of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight, the Times Herald-Record reported.

“He was a great man -- sweet, loving, kind, and compassionate,” Dinezza told the newspaper. “He had an abundant life.”

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