Mount Rushmore's Last Surviving Carver Celebrates His 98th Birthday: "They're All Gone Now"

Jul 21, 2019

The last surviving carver to work on what is probably the most recognizable American landmark just celebrated his 98th birthday. 

Nick Clifford, one of 400 workers who helped build the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, celebrated his birthday on July 11th in Keystone, South Dakota. 

"They're all gone now. I'm the last one, so I'm happy that my health is good, and I plan on living to quite a while yet," Clifford told KOTA, a CNN affiliate.

Both family and friends from across the country gathered to celebrate Clifford’s birthday and honor him for his remarkable work.

Murita Marty, a friend of Clifford's, told the outlet:

"I've been in love with Mt. Rushmore since I came here when I was six, so the idea that I got to meet someone who created this mountain to me was just like I met a rockstar."

He and his wife of 45 years, Carolyn, still work at the National Memorial to this day.

"He's been a wonderful man. He's very kind and generous and somewhat shy. You wouldn't know that since he's in the public, but he enjoys what he's doing a lot," she said. "Somebody else was going to write a book about Nick, and I just decided since I have the questions and Nick wrote out the answer, we just publish our own," his wife added.

"It makes me feel really good that all those people come and I get to talk to them and tell them the story about Mt. Rushmore," said Clifford.

Nick Clifford has been the last surviving carver of the memorial for the past 12 years. Here's to many more!

Happy Birthday, Nick! Did you know anybody who worked at the memorial? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!