August 29, 2012

Columnist Cohen dies in Florida

Laurence D. Cohen, a prolific writer who had become Hartford's latter-day Mark Twain, has died.

His curmudgeonly 'The Artful Strategist' column appeared weekly on the editorial page of the Hartford Business Journal since 2007. He also wrote a variety of commentary that appeared in outlets as varied as the general circulation Hartford Courant and Bankers and Tradesman, a Boston-based trade weekly.

He and his wife, Jan, had moved from Glastonbury to Sanibel Island, Fla., in 2010 and had moved off the island to avoid Tropical Storm Issac when Cohen, 64, suffered a massive heart attack Monday.

He was born in Chicago and moved to Hartford in 1971 after graduating from Bradley University. He began his career in journalism at the Hartford Courant. During 40 years in Connecticut, he was a newspaper reporter, editor, and columnist for several publications. He also was a speechwriter and worked in public relations at the Hartford Insurance Group and United Technologies. He was an adjunct instructor for 33 years in Connecticut, including at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, and Albertus Magnus College.

From his Sanibel base, Cohen continued to write columns and was looking forward to presiding over the fall convention of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a group which had elected him president. He also was working on material for the upcoming 20th anniversary and Lifetime Achievement award sections for the Hartford Business Journal.

He had been president of Public Relations Society of America, Central Connecticut chapter; president of Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists and a board member of Mark Twain House in Hartford, American Red Cross in Hartford and Community Solutions Inc. in Windsor.

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