Every town has those special celebrities be they from the work-force, sports, stage or screen, and New Rochelle is no exception. Here are a few of the famous people who have either lived or are living in my great city:
* Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy – They lived in a beautiful home on Mount Tom Road until the mid 1970s – and I had the pleasure of selling their former home earlier last year for $1.6M. Stars of both stage and screen, they lived in New Rochelle for over 40 years, and entertained the public for many more .
* Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis – Both were long time philanthropists, actors, and there is currently a theater named after Mr. Davis at our Public Library.
* Jay Leno – Yes the Jay Leno – but only for a few months and then his family moved away!
* Andrea McArdle – Broadway’s original “Annie” – hey – remember New Rochelle is only 45 minutes from Broadway – as the saying goes.. (closer now)
* Willie Mays – Hall of Fame baseball player
* Robert Merrill – operatic baritone – who would sing at each home Yankee game.. his home just recently sold for $1,375,000
* Andrea Mitchell – Journalist – As you walk along the corridors of our New Rochelle High school, you can see a nice photo of Ms. Mitchell proudly displayed. Ms. Mitchell is the NBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, and is also the host of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” Andrea obtained her B.A. from University of Pa. and is currently married to former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.
* Gil Schwartz serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for CBS and attended our high school – going onto Brandeis University
* Louis Boccardi – He was the President and CEO of the Associated Press until his retirement in 2003 – while this list is in no real order, I am writing the names as they come to mind. Both Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Boccardi’s names are synonymous (to me) as they very kindly acted as moderators over the course of 7 years at our local “CelebriTeas” which were wonderful, intellectually stimulating events where we had famous authors (such as Charles Grodin, Richard Ben Cramer, Arthur Golden, Jill Ker Conway, Ben Yagoda, Rupert Holmes, Doris Mortman, Walter Isaacson to name a few) to raise money for our wonderful library. As a result of the hard work of the chair people and volunteers, we now have a renovated second floor with computer stations, and as of this year – new carpeting in our entranceway and large foyer which also serves as the perfect showcase for the various art shows.
* Lawrence M. Small – A long list of accomplishments from being the President and CEO of Fannie Mae, the Secretary of the Smithsonian (2000 -2007) and currently serves on the board of Marriott International and Chubb. After attending our local high school, Mr. Small went to Brown University and graduated from there in 1963 with a degree in Spanish literature.
* W.C. Fields – the name says it all!
* Leslie Gleb, former President of the Council of Foreign Relations
* Nick Gregory – is a meteorologist for Fox 5 in New York City. I can recall many years ago (approx. 22 – yikes!) that I, along with another friend, asked that he speak to our students at the local William B. Ward Elementary School. He kindly obliged, and the children greatly enjoyed seeing a celebrity and learning from him and how he reached his goals. Of course, it didn’t hurt when he said a ‘hello’ to them later that day from his TV show!
* Norman Rockwell – many people do not realize that New Rochelle was an artist’s colony per se way back in the 1930s. Norman Rockwell, and many other artists and illustrators lived in this great city. Mr. Rockwell’s former home sold for $1.6M back in 2005, and featured a gallery overlooking one of the large rooms. It was a charming home, full of meandering hallways and charm.
* Writing on art – how can I leave out Frederic Remington – famous painter, sculptor of Native American art
* I also cannot leave out Nell Brinkley -who was a famous illustrator who created the “Brinkley Girl” ( a girl who epitomized the American woman – Mae West claimed to be the first Brinkley girl ), and Ms. Brinkley lived in New Rochelle for over 20 years… I was privileged to have sold her former home in 2008 for just $1.9M!
* J.C. Penney – so many people, so many names – I didn’t want to leave out the founder of this important department store chain.
* Bob Denver – Gilligan’s Island…. New Rochelle is hardly an island, but it is a paradise to many of us – and we can see Long Island from our waterfront!
* William S. Rukeyser, Editor of Fortune Magazine
* Louis Rukeyser – business columnist, TV host and economic commentator
* M. Farooq Kathwari, Chairman of Ethan Allen
* John M. Kluge – German American television industry mogul who at one time was the richest person in America. He recently passed away in 2010.
* Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. – Billionaire co-founder of Private Equity Group KKR
* Michael Kaiser, President J.F. Kenendy Center for the Performing Arts
* Alan Menken, Composer – attended our High School and was a member of Temple Israel of New Rochelle – how can we forget “The Little Mermaid,” “Tangled,” “Sister Act,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas”…. and the list goes on and on.. Graduated from New York University
* Chic Young – a cartoonist and better known for his “Blondie” cartoon
* Don Hewitt – Producer and Creator of CBS 60 Minutes. Mr. Hewitt’s photo is also at the high school. He passed away in 2009.
* Dick Morris – whose lineage dates back to the first Huguenots who came to New Rochelle to escape persecution in France. Mr. Morris who was the campaign manager for President Bill Clinton amongst others, is a regular on TV and wrote in 2010 “2010 -Take Back America” which recently received the first Thomas Paine award in November 2010 at our local V.I.P. Club. I was present at the dinner, and he spoke quite eloquently.
* Thomas Paine – I cannot leave Mr. Paine out… while not born in this great city, he was awarded a cottage as a ‘thank you’ for the role he played in the American Revolution, and was the author of “Common Sense” and “Rights of Man.”
* Sports! Did I mention sports? We are proud to be the home town of Ray Rice, Running Back for the Baltimore Ravens, who came up through our Youth Tackle League, High School and went on to Rutgers University.
* Courtney Green – We cannot forget Courtney who also came up through the Youth Tackle League, High chool and Rutgers University, and who is currently playing Safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
* Cristina Teuscher – Olympic Gold Medalist in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia in the Women’s Relay Team – Freestyle. Cristina attend our local high school, went onto Columbia and was All American, 4 time NCAA Champion, won 12 Ivy League titles amongst others, and obtained her MBA at INSEAD – a top business school. The city honored her Olympic accomplishment with a parade!
* A.J. Rosen – Two time Olympian in the sport of luge for Great Britain, coming in 16th each time – in Turin (2006, and Whistler 2010). Hey – I am his mom – I had to get him in!
I could write 5 pages of famous people who have lived or are living in this great city… perhaps it is the air, our diet (I wish) but certainly one fact is very true…
NEW ROCHELLE is a GREAT place in which to live!
I am here for all of your 2011 real estate requirements.