Nick Clifford, last surviving Mount Rushmore carver, dead at 98

His work is carved into the American landscape and stands as a symbol of the country's greatest presidents.

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Donald Leo "Nick" Clifford, the last surviving worker who participated in the carving of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, died Saturday, the Rapid City Journal reported. He was 98.

Clifford was 17 when he joined the crew of 400 men and women tasked with the job of carving the monument in South Dakota, the newspaper reported. He was the youngest worker in the project.

It took 14 years to carve Mount Rushmore, according to KNBN. The project, depicting presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, was completed in 1941.

Clifford was born in Pierre on July 5, 1921, the Journal reported.

“I feel like Mount Rushmore was the greatest thing with which I was ever involved,” Clifford told the newspaper in 2016. “It tells a story that will never go away — the story of how America was made and the men who helped make it what it is today.

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