Library Hosts 9/11 Author Michael Benfante


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BenfanteHeadshot8The Friends of the Verona Public Library, in a continuation of the Visiting Authors and Artists Series, is pleased to present local resident Michael Benfante, author of the book Reluctant Hero and survivor of the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster. The event will take place at the Verona Library, Sunday, October 19 at 3 p.m.

Michael Benfante, who now spends much of his time as an inspirational speaker, became a national hero for his actions on September 11, 2001, when he and a co-worker carried a disabled woman in a wheelchair down 68 flights of stairs and out of the World Trade Center North Tower to safety, just minutes before the tower imploded. He is the recipient of a host of honors and international recognition, and has testified at a US Senatorial special hearing about his 9/11 experience. Raised in Montclair, he currently lives with his wife and son in Bloomfield. His immediate family resides in Verona. ( interviewed Benfante for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.)

Benfante explained, “I saw horrible things that can’t be unseen or unremembered, but I also saw remarkable acts of helpfulness, selflessness, and generosity. That’s what I focus on to get through the memories.”

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Recognized by President George W. Bush, appearing on Oprah, Good Morning America and CNN among other media outlets, Benfante remarked, “I learned that 9/11 showed us that there are enormous, untapped reservoirs of extraordinary human kindness and generosity just waiting for a release.”

The hard cover will be available at a specially discounted price of $20, for advance purchase by book clubs and individuals. Reluctant Hero, A 9/11 Hero Speaks Out About That Unthinkable Day, What He’s Learned, How He’s Struggled and What No One Should Ever Forget, will be on sale beginning September 24 and can be purchased by emailing [email protected]

In addition to the discount, the author has graciously agreed to donate $5 from the sale of each book to the Friends of Verona Library fund for library activities. The author will be pleased to sign books purchased in advance or sold at the appearance on October 19.

This is a free event but space is limited. For more information and reservations, please visit the Library’s website at or contact the library, located at 17 Gould Street in Verona, 973-857-4848.

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