Following his retirement from professional life, Anslinger settled down in his hometown of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. He reminisced that he “was born and raised here, these are good people, nice people to talk to in a pleasant town.”
He spent many days enjoying coffee and conversation at Lusardi’s Luncheonette, a three-block walk from his house. From there Ansligner continued to correspond with friends and government leaders.
On November 14, 1975, Harry J. Anslinger passed away from heart failure at the age of 83. At his request the funeral was closed to the public. The U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs held a moment of silence in memory of Anslinger’s passing during its February 1976 meeting. Citizens of Hollidaysburg also hung a commemorative plaque in the Blair County Courthouse honoring Anslinger’s distinguished career.
“No other man, living or dead, has had a greater influence in stemming the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs than Harry Anslinger. He has gained ground despite the pressure of international intrigue, the ruthless menace of the underworld, and the conspiracy of communism to undermine the morale of its enemies with narcotic drugs.”
— Dr. Theodore Klumpp, December 1954