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Kalman J. (Kal) Cohen passed away peacefully on September 12, 2010, surrounded by his family. He had lived for 35 years in Chapel Hill, NC and was a resident at The Forest at Duke in Durham, NC for the past year. Kal lived the first half of his life in Pittsburgh, PA and was a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School. As the Distinguished Bank Research Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, Kal served at Duke since 1974. His research and teaching career spanned four decades. Prior to joining the Duke faculty, he was a tenured professor at Carnegie Mellon University and New York University. He taught as a visiting professor in Sweden, Denmark, China, and Singapore. Kal received his B.A. degree in mathematics at Reed College. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study mathematical logic at Oxford University where he earned a M.Litt. degree. He completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in economics at Carnegie Institute of Technology. He received numerous scholarships, fellowships, and research grants from many sources including the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the FDIC. Kal published eight books and over eighty articles in the fields of management science in banking, security market microstructure, corporate finance, computer simulation, management games, and microeconomics. Kal Cohen was described by one student as "a wise, generous, and sometimes eccentric teacher." Another former MBA student said about Kal: "You were one professor who profoundly shaped me, less by what you taught but rather how hard you worked to get us to understand your messages. I remember struggling several times, ready to give up, only to be motivated by watching you struggle even harder and more patiently to challenge us to attain higher levels of learning than when we arrived at Duke." Kal's long-time dean wrote: "When we hear the name 'Kal Cohen' we picture a distinguished scholar - hard working and dedicated - who gives more than he takes. He is a quick study with a generous spirit: quiet yet with a great sense of humor and a true Duke fan." Kal is survived by his wife Joan Newman Cohen; two sons Jon (and spouse Amy) of Signal Mountain, TN and Andy (and spouse Dawn Kleinman) of Carrboro, NC; one daughter Debbie (and spouse Bruce Edwards) of Chapel Hill, NC; five grandchildren (Geoffrey, Ethan and Aliza of Signal Mountain, TN; Danielle and Lena of Carrboro, NC); his brother Jerry of Chicago, IL; and many loving nieces and nephews. A celebration of Kal's life will be held in the auditorium at The Forest at Duke on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sept. 19, 2010
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