BOCA RATON, FL (CelebrityAccess) — Oscar A. Cohen, a veteran talent exec who served as president of Associated Booking Corporation for almost 40 years, died on April 10th.
The 92-year-old Cohen died in Boca Raton, Florida after a brief illness. Additional details about his passing were not disclosed.
Born in New York City, Oscar “Sonny” Cohen got his first job in the industry at the age of 14 when he became a personal assistance to Associated Booking’s founder Joe Glaser.
He later moved up to lead publicity for the legendary jazz artist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, and later his tour manager.
Cohen later expanded his duties at Associated Booking, taking on the role of theatrical agent, and representing a host of prominent artists such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Hope, and Shirley Bassey.
After he was named vice president at the agency, he played a key role in the early careers of rock acts such as The Allman Brothers, Rod Stewart, Alice Cooper, and Bob Marley.
When Mr. Glaser died in 1972, Cohen was named president in 1972 and he brought new talent to the agency, including artists such as Roberta Flack, B.B. King, Bernie Mac, and The O’Jays, among others, and moved into theatrical presentations, repping the hit Broadway show, Sophisticated Ladies.
He stepped down from his role at Associated Booking in 2010.
In addition to his work with ABC, he was a founding member of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that supports jazz education, musicians, performance and programming.
As well, he served five terms on the Board of Governors at the Friars Club and two terms as Treasurer for the organization.
Most recently, Cohen was featured in the Netflix movie, “The Black Godfather” a documentary on the life and career of life-long friend and celebrated music executive, Clarence Avant. Mr. Cohen resided in Boca Raton, FL and Long Island, NY.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Eleanore Cohen and their three daughters, Lisa Cohen and husband Luis Androuin, Maggie Howard and husband Andrew Howard and Joanne Cohen and partner, Russell Rosenberg. He was an adoring grandfather to his grandsons, Harry and Jack Howard and Michael and Jamie Schenker. Oscar is also survived by his sisters, Florence Cavanaugh and Billie Desisto and his brother, David Cohen.