Citizens of West Milford making their marks

April Roccisano, A&E Editor

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The sleepy town of West Milford, New Jersey which has eighty square miles of acreage in the middle of nowhere, has produced a multitude of famous people, believe it or not. Many of these names are well known, and for many different opportunities. One famous athlete from West Milford is Donna Weinbrecht, Olympic gold medalist skier. Weinbrecht was born in 1965, and attended West Milford High School. Her first gold medal was for free skiing, in 1992 at the Albertville, France Olympics. She went on to win many more medals during her Olympics career, and has a sign dedicated to her on Route 23 when cars enter West Milford. Lennie Friedman, former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman, also grew up in West Milford. Friedman was born 1976 and went to school at West Milford High School. He went to Duke University before going professional and was drafted by the Broncos before joining the Browns.
West Milford has also produced television and movie personalities. Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer of “Sesame Street”, was raised in West Milford after being born in Queens, New York. She attended West Milford High School, and from there, went to Rutgers as a business major. Parente has won seven Emmys for her work on “Sesame Street” and “Elmo’s World”. A famous actor from West Milford is Tom Wopat, famous for Luke in “The Dukes of Hazzard”. This show, now considered controversial, was an extremely popular show in the early seventies. Wopat did not attend West Milford High School, he went to Lodi High School, however he lived his early years in West Milford. Wopat was not the only star to be recognized as coming from this unknown town.
Danielle Rose Russell, the youngest famous person from West Milford, is a multi-tasker. Not only has Russell been in movies such as “Aloha” and “Wonder,”she is a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. Russell attended West Milford High School for a period, and finished school online after pursuing her career as a model. Richard Miller and his sons, Jared Miller, current senior at West Milford High School and Jonathan, guest starred on an episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” when Jared was only a baby. He does not remember the experience except for being around a lot of people, and the episode can still be found on Youtube. The video has over 65,000 views and 91 public comments, with a total of 283 likes. This specific episode has stood the test of time and it is, highly recommended.
Laurene Powell Jobs, formerly of West Milford, is the widow of Steve Jobs and a member of Emerson Collective. The Emerson Collective is a social group that focuses on bettering education, immigration reform, and health. She was born in 1963, and continued to live in West Milford throughout her childhood. Now, as one of the most famous widows in the world, she resides in Palo Alto, California. Jobs has three children that she is now raising as a single mom, after her husband’s passing in 2011.
Although all of the aforementioned people are still alive, West Milford has a hometown hero recognized for his bravery during the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Jeremy Glick, a man from West Milford, was a passenger on Flight 93 when the plane crashed on Pennsylvania. Glick is known for attempting to hijack the terrorist attack, along with other passengers, but was unsuccessful and died at the age of 31. Every year, West Milford residents remember Glick’s bravery and pray for his loved ones. West Milford may not be a well known town in America, but it produced many talented and revived individuals, and will continue to do so.

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