Watch CBS News

Westchester County Man Finally Gets Recognition As Chief Carver Of Mount Rushmore

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There is special recognition for a man who once called Westchester County home.

CBS2's Jessica Layton reported the Italian immigrant who has since passed is still achieving the American dream, thanks to the tireless work of his grandson.

In the 1930s, Luigi Del Bianco was the man responsible for carving some of the most intricate details on Mount Rushmore, but nowhere could his grandson, Lou Del Bianco, find literature giving his grandfather the credit the family believed he deserved.

"For some reason, Mount Rushmore had a policy it was a team effort and everyone should be acknowledged as a team, regardless of role," Lou Del Bianco said.

For a last quarter-century, Del Bianco has been fighting to get his grandfather the official recognition of chief carver. Last fall, he was finally able to show historians copies of documents from the Library of Congress. In them, Mount Rushmore's designer refers to Luigi Del Bianco as the chief carver, and finally, the National Parks agreed.

"After 25 years, it was just like this weight … melted off me," Lou Del Bianco said.

Even though Del Bianco is surrounded by his grandfather's talents at home, he comes to a memorial in town to feel closest to him.

Del Bianco collected money for the plaque, making sure to include the title of chief carver well before word of the official recognition.

"And now, hopefully, the country and world will know," he said.

Del Bianco points out a plaque like this at Mount Rushmore would be perfect.

"The story has a happy ending," he said.

There is no word yet on how the National Parks Service plans to officially recognize the chief carver.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.