104-Year-Old CEO Not The Retiring Type

This story originally aired March 3, 2006. Since Steve Hartman first told Jack Weil's story, the shirtmaker has celebrated another birthday.

The first members of the Baby Boomer generation are starting to think about retiring. But on this week's Assignment America, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman meets a man old enough to be their grandfather who wouldn't dream of quitting.

At 104 years old, Jack Weil still has the same attitude — and almost the same energy — that he had when he started working. That was back in the day ... during the administration of President William Taft.

Weil is CEO of a western clothing company called Rockmount, based in Denver. His mornings are spent mostly walking back from the coffee machine.

But Weil also does some of the accounting — and most of the socializing.

Everyone at Rockmount loves seeing him still on the job, with the possible exception of his 77-year-old son. "How the hell can I retire when my dad's still working?" asks Jack Jr.

Jack started Rockmount in 1944, and over the years, he defined how the West was worn. He actually created the western shirt as we know it.

Six decades later, the style Weil started now looks a little dated — kitschy, not really like anything you or I would wear. In other words, it's become incredibly hip.

Eric Clapton wore nothing but Jack's shirts on his recent reunion tour with Cream. Rockmount is also popping up in GQ — and, biggest of all, his shirts were featured prominently in the movie "Brokeback Mountain." One shirt worn in the movie just sold on eBay ... for $101,000.

"What! For a shirt?" says Jack Jr. — who, like his father, was unaware of the whole thing. Jack especially doesn't care much about any kind of hype.

Jack turns 105 later this month, but when asked how he'd like to be remembered, he replies, "I don't give a damn."

And while a lot of people like his shirts, most of us really wish we had his genes.

  • John Kreiser

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.