A celebrated barber who cut hair for members of Congress for more than half a century is officially laying down his scissors.

Joe Quattrone, 88, trimmed and shaved on the ground floor of the House Rayburn Building for 51 years for myriad elected officials, including former presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush during their time in Congress. Ford even continued to visit after he became vice president, and his family invited “Joe Q” to his funeral.

House Barber Joe Quattrone had many famous clients, including Sen. Ted Kennedy.
House Barber Joe Quattrone had many famous clients, including Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Quattrone, originally from Calabria, Italy, is planning to pack it in to spend more time with his family in North Carolina. Quattrone has lately been in ill health and Rita, his wife of 65 years, died last year.

“What can I say? I’m going to miss it,” he told Roll Call wistfully. “But it’s time for me to go after 51-and-a-half years.”

When Quattrone began barbering in 1971, a cut cost 75 cents and the Capitol was reeling after the far left terrorist organization Weather Underground exploded a bomb in the Senate bathroom.

House members from both parties agreed that visiting Quattrone’s shop means entering one of the last bipartisan spaces on Capitol Hill.

“It’s a warm, embracing place where you put the politics aside and you just enjoy some good company with a friend who’s been around for a long time,” GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise told the paper of Quattrone’s barber’s chair. “You can always run down there and count on Joe to be there with a friendly smile,”

House Barber Joe Quattrone, cuts lobbiest Jeff Myers' hair at the House Barber Shop in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Tuesday morning, January 31, 2012.
House Barber Joe Quattrone cuts lobbyist Jeff Myers’ hair on January 31, 2012.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
43 years on the job, House Barber Joe Quattrone, cuts Press Secretary Tom Doheny's hair, as Barber Nurney Mason waits for his next client, at the House Barber Shop in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Thursday, January 18, 2012.
House Barber Joe Quattrone has a wall full of Washington insiders, including former President Bill Clinton.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images



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