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Mount Rushmore Chief Carver To Finally Get His Own Official Plaque

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After a 25 year battle by his family, a Westchester County man who was the chief carver of Mount Rushmore, will finally get his due with a plaque recognizing his contribution.

Roughly 400 men, mostly unemployed miners, drilled and blasted to create the Mount Rushmore Memorial.

But Luigi Del Bianco, an Italian immigrant and proud son of Port Chester, brought the presidents to life with hammer and chisel.

Del Bianco died in 1969 and his grandson, Lou Del Bianco, spent 25 years trying to convince the National Parks Service to honor him as the chief carver.

After digging through the Library of Congress, he presented as evidence the writings of designer Gutzon Borglum, confirming del Bianco as the chief carver responsible for "putting the soul and the humanity into those faces."

"And that's what my grandfather did," Del Bianco said. "When you look at those faces and you see the soul in Lincoln's eyes and you see the humanity and strength in Washington. That's because my grandfather worked alone carving the fine features."

A plaque honoring Del Bianco will be unveiled during a ceremony Saturday.

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