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W&M mourns Sherman Cohen ’42, L.H.D. ’09

  • Sherman Cohen
    Sherman Cohen
    Sherman Cohen (center) is joined by his grandsons Ross Cohen (left) and Austin Kay at the dedication of the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

New York City real estate developer and philanthropist Sherman Cohen ’42 L.H.D. ’09, who — along with his wife, Gloria — made possible the construction of William & Mary’s Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center, died on Jan. 22. In recognition of Cohen’s outstanding career and his lifelong relationship with William & Mary, he received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College in 2009.

“The College of William & Mary extends its deepest sympathy to the Cohen family on the loss of Sherman,” said William & Mary President Taylor Reveley. “He was an extraordinary human being who made an enormous difference for the better during his time on earth. William & Mary is very proud to count him among our own. His presence on campus through the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center will endure for generations to come.”

A Virginia native, Cohen attended William & Mary during the Great Depression. He began his business career alongside his two brothers in Newport News. The trio sold their Newport News men’s clothing stores and moved to New York City in 1949. The brothers were the youngest Oldsmobile dealers in America after World War II before forming Cohen Brothers Realty & Construction Corp. Cohen Brothers built, developed and managed many high-rise residential buildings on Manhattan’s East Side. In the late 1960s, Cohen Brothers built and developed Class A office towers in Manhattan. The corporation’s holdings today include more than 12 million square feet of prime real estate throughout the United States.

Sherman and Gloria Cohen’s generous commitment to William & Mary led to the construction of the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center. The 11,000-square-foot facilty, located in the heart of the university’s campus, opened in 2010.

In addition to  William & Mary, the Cohens’ philanthropy has supported the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Pavilion at Greenwich Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, the State of Israel, Israel Bonds, United Jewish Appeal, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Dialysis Center at the Rogosin Institute of New York Presbyterian Hospital, among many other organizations.

Cohen leaves behind his wife of 61 years, two children and six grandchildren.