The school has a hall of fame listing many notable alumni. They include:
Alfred Kinsey (1912), biologist; created the field of study of sexology. Subject of the 2004 film Kinsey.
Drew Middleton (1931), reporter; covered wars from World War II through the Falklands War for The New York Times.
Teresa Wright (1938), Academy Award-winning actress whose films include Mrs. Miniver, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Pride of the Yankees.
Judith Viorst (1943), poetess.
Peter S. Connor (1950), soldier; posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
Paul R. Ehrlich (1949), entomologist; professor of population studies; author of The Population Bomb and The End of Affluence.
Peter Eisenman (born 1932), architect widely known as one of the earliest practitioners of deconstructivism in American architecture.
Roy Scheider (1950), actor most widely known for his leading roles in Jaws and The French Connection (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award).
C. K. Williams (1954), Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning poet.
Amalya Lyle Kearse (1955), judge; first female African American partner in a Wall Street law firm, first female United States Court of Appeals judge.
Linda Gottlieb (1956), producer of Dirty Dancing among other works.
Alberto Ibargüen (1962), publisher; first Hispanic publisher of The Miami Herald, Pulitzer Prize winner for coverage of the Elián González story.
John Payne (1963), former Captain of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
Myrth York (1964), politician.
Paul Auster (1965), PEN Literary Award winning author.
Robert Sternberg (1968), psychologist and researcher in the field of human intelligence and primary figure behind the triarchic theory of intelligence.
Max Weinberg (1969), drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and band leader of The Max Weinberg 7 of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Leigh Howard Stevens (c. 1971) – marimba artist.
Robert Bianchi (1979), lacrosse athlete of the century, United States Navy helicopter pilot killed in the line of duty aged 26.
Joetta Clark (1980), four-time Olympic athlete known as the “Queen of American middle distance running”.
Matthew Cooper (1980), reporter for TIME magazine who was promoted to Political Editor for Time.com.
Elisabeth Shue (1981), Academy Award-nominated actress of Leaving Las Vegas, Gracie, The Karate Kid and The Saint.
Mark Bryant (1984) – Athlete; former NBA basketball player.
Andrew Shue (1985), actor best known for his leading role on the television series Melrose Place. He also appeared in the 2007 film, Gracie and served as producer for it
David Javerbaum (1989) – Writer and producer; head writer for The Daily Show, writer for The Onion, David Letterman and his own theatrical productions, first runner-up in 1988 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament.
Lauryn Hill (1993), eight-time Grammy Award-winning artist as well as a member of The Fugees.
Robert Verdi (1986), television personality.
Other notable alumni not currently in the hall of fame include:
Robert Eisenman (1955), academic/writer/archaeologist/poet who led the international struggle to increase academic access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, skipped Senior Year to enter Cornell University Engineering Physics Program.
Bruce Feirstein, screenwriter and journalist best known for his screenplays for the James Bond films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, and his best selling humor books, including Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.
Donna Fiducia (1975), radio DJ and TV news reader.
Buzzy Hellring (1970), key developer of Ultimate who was killed in an auto accident his freshman year at Princeton University.
Frank Langella (1955), actor.
Richard Meier (1952), architect whose work includes his design of the Getty Center.
Mark Rudd (1965), activist who led student war protests at CHS and later at Columbia University, and went on to help found The Weathermen.
Ralph Sazio (1941), former football player, assistant coach, head coach general manager and team president of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998 as a builder.
Cortlandt V.R. Schuyler (1918), United States Army four star general.
Joel Silver (1970), Producer of films such as Lethal Weapon 4 and The Matrix also invented Ultimate in 1968.
Laura Anne Gilman (1985), science fiction writer and editor.
Claude Coleman, Jr. (1986), musician, drummer for Ween amongst other work.
Ahmed Best (1991) – Actor; most widely known for playing Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars movie series.
Zach Braff (1993) – Actor/Producer/Writer/Director; leading actor on the television series Scrubs and producer / director / writer / star of Garden State.
Kiki Smith (did not graduate), sculptor, who had a major retrospective of her work in 2003-4 at the Museum of Modern Art.
Jonathan Tiersten, actor in the Sleepaway Camp movies.
Mark Leyner (born 1956), postmodernist author.
Robert Sheckley (1946), a Hugo and Nebula nominated science fiction writer
Stephen G. Bloom (1969), author of Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America
James Kaplan (1969), author of Two Guys from Verona.
Grace Mirabella (19??), former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, founder of Mirabella magazine.
In popular culture
Gracie (2007): Columbia and Columbia’s Varsity Soccer Team were featured in Gracie, a film loosely based on the lives of alumni Elizabeth Shue and Andrew Shue; the film was directed by Elizabeth Shue’s husband, Davis Guggenheim, and produced by the Shues (who also acted in it).
Lauryn Hill, for her 1998 release The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was photographed in the second floor bathroom of the school’s “A” wing.
Garden State (2004): The school is both shown and referenced in this Zach Braff film, which was partly filmed in neighboring South Orange, New Jersey and Millburn, New Jersey.
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