Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Angel  Delgadillo

1927 -

Honored as Historymaker 2023

Father of Historic U.S. Route 66, Businessman

Oral History Transcript:

Video by Carey Pena of Inspired Media 360, for the Historical League; videographer Leonardo Buono.

Angel Delgadillo is truly a "living legend." Songwriters, movie makers and writers have all been inspired by his story. On Sept. 22, 1978, US 40 opened and Route 66 was bypassed. Instantly Seligman, Arizona, lost most of its economy. Longtime Seligman barber Angel Delgadillo decided to do something about it. Over the years he doggedly built support from local businesses, counties and the state, to make Route 66 a historic road. In 1987 he founded the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona; and in 1988, 159 miles of the "Mother Road" was dedicated as historic. Interest in Route 66 blossomed, with visitors from around the world coming to enjoy Seligman and the nostalgic old road. Mr. Delgadillo, himself, is an attraction for the visitors, who learn the story of one man who never gave up in the face of nearly unsurmountable challenges. Mr. Delgadillo finally retired from his barbershop in 2022 at the age of 95.