STEPHEN COHEN
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COHEN STEPHEN BRUCE COHEN Stephen Bruce Cohen died at home on August 17, 2018 after an eight-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a loving husband and father, beloved professor of law, and human rights activist. Born on September 11, 1945 in Philadelphia to Sylvan and Alma Cohen, he graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1963, from Amherst College, where he was president of the student council, in 1967, and from Yale Law School in 1971. Throughout college and law school, he was a leader in the movement to end the Vietnam war, working on Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign and organizing one of the largest anti-Vietnam War protests in the country. Stephen began teaching law after graduating from Yale, first at Rutgers Law School and then at the University of Wisconsin. In 1978, he began a two-year stint as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, where he was not afraid to criticize what he believed was the Carter administration's misplaced support for the Shah of Iran. After resigning from the State Department, he joined the faculty of Georgetown Law School, where he taught for the next 38 years, specializing in the areas of tax and international human rights. During the 1980's and early '90s, he frequently traveled to South Africa to lend support to the anti-apartheid movement, and he participated in efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear war by limiting nuclear weapons testing and reducing stockpiles. He was appointed by President Clinton to the South African Enterprise Development Fund, which focused on financing new businesses in South Africa. More recently, he was a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the International Human Rights Law Group, a non-profit organization engaged in advocacy, strategic human rights lawyering, and training around the world. As a brilliant but approachable teacher, sometimes conducting class with his shoes off, he had a special gift for making understandable complex subjects, such as tax policy, as he did in his casebook on federal income taxation. He was devoted to his students, regularly inviting them to dinner at his home. Over the years, in addition to teaching at Georgetown, he taught at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Wisconsin, Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University in Israel, Heidelberg University in Germany, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Stephen is survived by his wife Laura Sager, his children Samara Neely-Cohen and Maxwell Neely-Cohen, his brother Marc Copland, his stepchildren Matthew Sager and Jessica Sager, and a step-grandchild Sophia Pandya. He had an immense capacity for making and keeping devoted friends throughout the world, many of whom he would gather at his home in Washington, DC for Passover, ending the Seder with a reading of The Four Freedoms, reflecting his life-long dedication to liberty and justice. For those wishing to make a gift in Stephen's memory, donations to All Our Kin, an organization empowering individuals to create childcare programs providing high quality care to children in need, and to Refugees International, an independent humanitarian organization that advocates for better support for displaced people and stateless people, would be most welcome. Services private.For those wishing to make a gift in Stephen's memory, donations to All Our Kin, an organization empowering individuals to create childcare programs providing high quality care to children in need, and to Refugees International, an independent humanitarian organization that advocates for better support for displaced people and stateless people, would be most welcome. Services private.

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Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 24, 2018.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
January 1, 2019
From my home town, he was a principal reason that I went to Amherst College. I roomed with him one year and remained full of admiration for his unflagging mental energy, liveliness and independence. Of all the people I know, he may have gotten the most out of Amherst College. It was the perfect place for him. I regret losing touch with him a few years after College and am presently kicking myself for giving up on him. Marc, perhaps you remember me.
Paul Sunstein
Friend
August 26, 2018
We offer our condolences. We pray in your behalf, and we offer the hope of welcoming back our loved ones on a Paradise earth. Psm 37:29
August 25, 2018
"The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace." - Numbers 6:26. My condolences.
P. Marie Gibson
August 24, 2018
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. May the fond memories of your loved one sustain your family at this time. May you also receive comfort from what is stated at 1 Peter 5:6,7.
Linda Mc
August 23, 2018
Steve was a real presence in high school and made us proud throughout his professional career. And even though he was always engaged in serious and important work, he never lost his sense of humor. We all loved him dearly. He will be sorely missed.
Janet Hoffman
August 23, 2018
My condolences to the family and friends of Stephen Cohen. Our Creator promises to comfort and give you the strength to cope each day without him. May you continue to be blessed with his memory and legacy and may your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times you shared together as you celebrate a life well lived and loved by many.
August 23, 2018
My most deepest condolence to his loving family. And may our god of love and mercy bring great comfort to you. Mathews 5:4
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