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PRISCILLA T. (nee Neuman)

age 85, died at home with her animals on June 27 from complications from Parkinson's. A leading animal rights philosopher and vegan, her life was about overcoming a series of obstacles from her privileged upbringing, becoming a female philosopher, to becoming a leading animal rights advocate.
Growing up as the quintessential poor little rich girl, Priscilla was born December 14, 1933 to Simon and Helen Neuman, granddaughter of Harry and Rose Publicker, who had amassed a fortune in liquor and chemicals. She had a lonely childhood while growing up on a 70 acre estate that included a horse sired by Man 'o War, winning blue ribbons at the Devon Horse Show, riding with next door neighbors, young Robert Montgomery Scott and his mother Hope Scott of Philadelphia Story fame. She always gave credit to her nanny, Mary Alice Gallagher for her personal moral code, her love of books and her love of animals; attributes which would provide the foundations of her later life. She attended Haverford Friends School until the eighth grade, and graduated from the Baldwin School.
In the spring of 1951, during her senior year at Baldwin, she married Willard Cohn which caused extraordinary publicity, including the headline in the Philadelphia newspapers, "Publicker Heiress Runs Off and Weds Tailor's Son". To their credit, Baldwin allowed her to graduate. Rather than attending Sarah Lawrence, when her only child, Clifford Cohn was born, she became a full-time mom. When her son started kindergarten in 1956 she started Bryn Mawr College. She received her B.A., MA. and finally in 1969 her PhD in philosophy. She wrote her PhD thesis on the work of the then virtually unknown philosopher Heidegger, under the direction of her professor, the famous Catalan philosopher Jose Ferrater Mora. Praised as the most important Catalan philosopher since the thirteenth century, Josep Ferrater Mora, known in the Spanish-speaking world as José Ferrater Mora, was celebrated as the most profound and original Spanish thinker in the second half of the twentieth century. Writing more than 35 books, his prodigious scholarship and his original philosophy was widely acclaimed. More importantly to Priscilla he became the love of her life and they married in 1980. Priscilla was inspired to become an animal rights activist by a visit to see the baby seals on the ice flows in Canada and shortly thereafter reading Animal Liberation, the founding philosophical treatise on the animal rights movement.
Working and publishing as Dr, Cohn, she taught Philosophy for more than 35 years, and wrote on animals, environmental issues, and ethical problems, as well as on contemporary philosophers and the history of philosophy, publishing in both English and Spanish. She became a full Professor in Philosophy at Penn State University in 1982, and Professor Emerita at in 2001. She pioneered courses in animal ethics and lectured on five continents. Upon her husband's death in 1991, she became active in the The Ferrater Mora Chair of Contemporary Thought at Girona University;
which organizes contemporary thinking courses led by eminent thinkers with internationally renowned prestige, including a number of Nobel Prize winners.

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Published in Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News from Jun. 30 to Jul. 2, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
June 25, 2020
Barcelona, Spain June 24th,2016
Priscilla had the biggest smile when anyone spoke of Jose' .
This was a very happy, proud and loving moment for Priscilla as we stood on the street named after the love of her life. His memory kept a twinkle in her eye. I hope they found eachother again in the great beyond. That would be heavenly.
Renee Kitchenman
June 24, 2020
any friend of animals is a friend of mine
John Ferry
September 20, 2019
Farewell, Priscilla. You were a lovely friend and neighbor. My girls and I will miss our conversations and walks with you. And visiting you and your many animals. Rest In Peace. Susan
Susan Daley
July 4, 2019
I am a decades long friend of Jay Kirkpatrick and have forwarded the notice about Priscilla's passing to the current SCC executive director and board president. I was fortunate to work with Jay on some of the very early contraceptive work on skunks and horses. Priscilla's support of Jay's work has helped thousands of animals. I still work on contraceptive projects on horses, deer and burros and PZP is a great tool for both captive and free roaming populations of animals. Condolences on the loss of this special person.
Dave Pauli, HSUS
July 3, 2019
We are very grateful for all Priscilla did during her life to protect animals, especially through the development of PZP.
Ann E. Kolakowski. HSUS
July 2, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Priscilla. Although I did not know her personally I am sure she was a wonderful person who will be missed. My heart goes out to your family and I hope the best for you all.
July 2, 2019
Priscilla's unwavering commitment toward ensuring a better world for animals was truly remarkable. I always looked forward to our phone conversations mostly about an animal for whom we both shared a special fondness - the white-tailed deer. Thank you Priscilla. Rest in Peace.
Bridget Irons
July 2, 2019
Thank you for being a light to all of us who care about animals. God bless
Betty Madden
July 2, 2019
Priscilla gave 200% and went more than an extra mile to protect all animals from the bulls in Spain to White Tailed Deer in the U.S. She persuaded Sen. Arlen Specter to oppose the cull at VFNHP which he did once and again in 2009. Priscilla also personally petitioned Sen Bob Casey whose representative listened glued to Priscilla's persuasive arguments. Priscilla even offered to supply PZP and the marksmen to deliver it remotely but the Superintendent of Valley Forge rejected her generous offer stating he did not need it - he had three million taxpayer dollars to do the deed. I will never forget her perseverance, and persuasive arguments.I know you will rest in peace for a job well done, and hope you realize you set a remarkable example for all of us who continue the fight. You are our inspiration. God bless you and your dear family!
Betty Madden
July 2, 2019
July 1, 2019
Clifford, Pamela and Matt,
I send you all my sincerest sympathies. I remember how much she adored you all. The happiness of her family and her animals was very important to her. Priscilla and I shared many dreams and stories of life experiences over endless cups of expresso. Some days she was the teacher and I was the student. Other days, it was the other way around. I am grateful for all of those exchanges. I will never forget Priscilla. Peace be with her, and also with you.
Renee Kitchenman
July 1, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family at this very difficult time
July 1, 2019
To Great Lady,Rest In Peace,Please accept my condolences to The Family, Amend,Jerry V.Di Trolio
Jerry Di Trolio
July 1, 2019
For your passion and love for the in GOD'S eternal peace & joy.
Marilyn Brown
July 1, 2019
Sorry for your loss. May the God who "binds up the brokenhearted" and "comforts all who mourn" strengthen your family during this difficult time (Isaiah 61:1,2)
June 30, 2019
I will miss you my dear longtime friend, Priscilla.
We met decades ago at a protest, where our German Shepherd, Nicky ate part of your egg salad sandwich, which you were holding behind your back. You were vegetarian at the time. We have talked & laughed about that forever!
We worked on many animal rights issues together & did so many things to help animals have a better life. I could go on & on about it all.
I will never forget you. I miss you. I loved our lunches together for the past many years. I loved our conversations about endless topics, animal & non-animal. Oh how we laughed about many things.
I appreciated how you were such a loving, caring person to me as I am going through all my cancer treatments & all the other tragedies throughout my life. You always made time to send me an e-mail, leave me a phone message & send me an e-card.
You are amazing in all your accomplishments but most of all, you are beautiful, soulful human being. The kind this world needs.
I am honored to have been your friend, honored to make sure your cats are safely placed & honored to have been a part of your life.
I love you !
Tina S.
June 30, 2019
For all you did your whole life for animals , the whole world thanks you .... with love and respect .... John Ferry , also posting as Philly Felines and Chelsea Frame .... I was so moved by the obit , I had to share it ....
John Ferry
June 30, 2019

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