Decades into his storied career, Bertie Bowman is finally getting his due, reports CBS News. Bowman, who has been working on Capitol Hill for nearly three-quarters of a century, was only 13 years old when he ran away from home in South Carolina and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1944.

Bowman decided to go to D.C. after meeting South Carolina Sen. Burnet Maybank near his hometown. “Before he can get in his car, I was pulling on his coattail, ‘If I come to Washington, can I stop by and see you?’ He said ‘Yes’,” Bowman said in an interview with CBS News Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes. When he arrived in Washington, Bowman found Maybank’s office on Capitol Hill. The senator hired him to sweep the Capitol steps, and paid him $2 a week out of his own pocket. Bowman went on to do several other jobs on Capitol Hill, including working as a janitor, a cook and a shoe-shiner for U.S. senators such as Lyndon Johnson.

“Lyndon Johnson used to love to get dressy. ‘Bertie, how’s my boots there? You got ‘em looking good? Can I see my face?’ I said, ‘Here you are, Senator. You can see your face better than I can.’ I used to say that to him,” he recalled.

Bowman eventually made it to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he served as a clerk and then as the hearing coordinator. He is known on Capitol Hill for giving newly elected senators advice. “Oh I tell em, ‘you know, you got to kind of — when you walk out your door, look left or right and say Hello, how are you this morning?’”

Bowman even made a lasting impression on Bill Clinton. The future president worked for Bowman when, while still a student at Georgetown University, he got a job as a messenger for the Foreign Relations Committee. Bowman, said Clinton, was “exactly the kind of person you’d want to take you under his wing, if you’re a 20-year-old student just working your first job in Washington.”

Recently, the United States Senate Federal Credit Union held a ceremony honoring Bowman where it officially named its new headquarters after him. “And I feel so honored, I’m just the happiest guy in the world,” Bowman told CBS News. Even though Bowman is now 88 years old, he has no plans to retire. Several senators were on had to honor him and he was also given a plaque. Bowman has written a book about his many years on Capitol Hill called “Step By Step.”