NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Meet Sam Meyer. Well, if you’re a New Orleans native, you may already know him.

The 98-year-old is the patriarch of the Meyer family, the family that owns Meyer the Hatter in the Central Business District. It’s a hat business established in 1894 by Meyer’s grandfather. Before he started working at his family business, Meyer served in the United States Airforce during World War II at just 18 years old.

“At that time, they were building the air forces all around the world, and they wanted to build the military presence in Europe tremendously, because Mr. Roosevelt said he’d like 50,000 planes. Good god…” said Meyer.

Meyer was deployed to England and served as an air craft armorer in the United States Airforce for two years. He was in his early 20s when he came back and has been working at Meyer the Hatter ever since.

“I came here and then my brother came out of the Airforce also, he was released, you know, and came and we’re here together for many, many years,” said Meyer.

The shop has served thousands of customers and countless celebrities over the years .
Today, Meyer works alongside his sons and grandchildren, running the 128-year-old business.

“You don’t have anybody who are going to work that long, and want to work that long, you know? So, he truly does love this business and you know, loves the family, loves being around people so, it’s really special,” said Cedric Meyer, Meyer’s grandson.

Meyer agrees, it’s the people in his life that have made the experience extraordinary.

“I’m just blessed with having a great family and great people and here I am,” said Meyer.

And when we asked Meyer what he wanted to say to those watching, he said….

“Well, wear ya’ hat!”