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Diego d'Ambrosio - Made in Italy

When work rhymes with passion: Diego d’Ambrosio, ‘The world’s most famous barber’

Not only has he cut the hair of presidents, heads of state, ambassadors and even the pope, but Diego D’Ambrosio has also had a street dedicated to him…

reading time4 minutes

“When you find you have the job you love, you’ll never be tired and never be old“. : so Diego D’Ambrosio, known in the USA as ‘the most famous barber in the world’, who passed away last October at 87, used to say.

The presidents’ barber

In almost 60 years, he has cut the hair of hundreds of American presidents, ambassadors, heads of state from all over the world, senators, Supreme Court justices, and even the Pope, Sergio Mattarella and Mario Draghi. He indeed had incredible fame and success, so much so that he was, until 2021, the only living Italian to have a dedicated street in the United States of America! In 2010, Washington Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, an Italian-African-American, dedicated a part of Q Street – the street where Diego’s Hair Salon is located – to him, naming it D’Ambrosio Way.

The secret of success

It is a story that has something incredible about it. It began when Diego, born in 1934, left Santa Marinella (RM) at only 25 years of age to go to the capital of the USA, where the Italian Embassy was looking for a barber.

Here, he makes everyone appreciate his innate politeness and incredible talent for cutting hair. In 1961, he opened his shop in Dupont Circle, a few blocks from the White House, offering men’s and women’s haircuts. Humble and polite, thanks to word of mouth, he became for everyone Diego the Italian, a trusted barber, inexpensive and always giving a perfect cut. The secret of its success is simple yet unique: always keep a smile on your face, have a good Italian coffee to offer, create a friendly atmosphere through a warm welcome and… last but not least, a fixed fee of $20!

Work and a sense of humour

Until 2021, Diego D’Ambrosio went to work every day with a smile. His children never managed to convince him to retire – at most, he worked two or three hours less per day! – and tell of his incredible energy and how working with customers helped him to stay young. Not forgetting his sense of humour: when a customer called and asked who was the best at cutting hair, he used to reply: “Everyone except Diego!” Finally, despite having left Italy in his twenties, he liked to repeat to those who asked him about his country: ‘Italy is the flower I always carry in my heart’!

In 2008, the Italian Embassy honoured him for his ability to spread the true values of being Italian.

Congratulations to those who bring the values of work and Italy to the world!