By ELIZABETH OGUSS and LINDA MOSS
Author Michael Wolff, whose controversial book stirred President Donald Trump to angrily tweet to defend his “stable genius,” was president of his high school student council — and his high school was in Montclair.
Wolff, who continues to defend the veracity of “Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House,” graduated from Montclair Academy in 1971. His yearbook photo depicts a serious looking, bespectacled youth with chin-length dark hair, blunt cut and parted on the side.
In the yearbook Wolff is described as “a serious student of history/philosophy,” “introverted, but serious” with “his dazzling rhetoric leading to victory in debates/discussions.”
According to the yearbook, Wolff was also “concerned with the problems of the school/the cities.”
In addition to being student council president, Wolff was secretary of the high school’s Red and Black Society, editor of Spectrum, and a member of the Political Club and Leones Debating Society.
Barry Nazarian, a former teacher at Montclair Academy, said that he remembered Wolff as a student at the school, although he can’t recall if he had him in any class.
The youth’s election as head of the student council was unanticipated at the time, according to Nazarian, a former longtime Montclair resident who now lives in San Diego.
“The big surprise with Michael was, no he was not the all-American athlete, he was not somebody who was incredibly gregarious … What Mike pulled off was what I remember as a mild upset, because he was this guy who was kind of intellectual who kept to himself a little more,” Nazarian said.
There was a school assembly where the student-council candidates spoke and Wolff delivered a great speech, which led to his victory, according to Nazarian.
The 1970s was the era of youths standing up against the establishment, and “Michael absolutely captured that moment … and he won,” Nazarian said.
Nazarian said that he had not followed Wolff’s career as an author, and only learned last week through Facebook that the author of “Fire and Fury” was the student he knew from Montclair Academy. He didn’t recall if Wolff had lived in Montclair at the time.
Montclair Academy, a boys’ school for grades 7-12, and the Kimberley School, a girls’ school spanning pre-K to the 12th grade, merged in 1974 to create the current Montclair Kimberley Academy.
Wolff — who has received numerous awards for his work, including two National Magazine Awards — has been a columnist for Vanity Fair, New York, The Hollywood Reporter, British GQ, USA Today, and The Guardian. His prior books include Burn Rate and The Man Who Owns the News. Wolff lives in Manhattan and has four children.