Last Call for 95-Year-Old Bartender

If 95-year-old Angelo Cammarata is any indication, the secret to long life is a whiskey and Coke every morning, and 77 years of second-hand smoke.

Cammarata has been tending bar for 77 years, as CBS News Correspondent Steve Hartman reports.

Angelo's not the oldest bartender. But he is the longest continuous working bartender.

And to be perfectly accurate, he says it hasn't been 77 years, either. Angelo started tending bar 76 years, 5 months, 11 days, 18 hours and 27 minutes ago.

He remembers the exact moment because it was the end of prohibition. On the eve of April 7, 1933, customers lined up outside his father's grocery store in Pittsburgh. And when the clock struck twelve, Angelo made his first sale.

Angelo said it happened at 12:01. And from that second to this, Angelo stuck to the same career path.

His new bar - and by "new" we mean he moved in 56 years ago - is a neighborhood place that draws young and old alike.

Marlene Schnore met her husband Terry at Cammarata's.

Then 20 years later their daughter Michelle met her husband Dan here.

Up at the bar, John Blackstock sits on the same bar stool his dad kept warm for five decades. "That's just the way this bar is," said Blackstock.

That's also why, for the regulars, the rest of this story is so sad.

It's last call at Cammaratas.

"My customers are my family," said Angelo. "Thank you, every one of you."

Angelo says his wife Mary can't get around on her own any more. And apparently a 71 year marriage trumps a 77 year old career.

Angelo's last night was last Saturday.

After partying 'til the wee hour of 8:30 p.m., the man who ushered out prohibition - finally shuffled off to retirement.

Even at 95, Angelo feels like he still has quite a few good years left - assuming of course the fresh air doesn't kill him.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.