My Grandfather died of a sudden heart attack in 1970 in the middle of the night. We were very close. It was like losing a parent.
My Grandfather was a middle-class man — the son of immigrants.
He was not rich — and I did not inherit any material wealth from him.
Also — he died in 1970 before I was 10 — so my grandfather — never directly helped me — to accomplish anything.
But the love and encouragement — he gave me — before he died — is always present
Herbert Cohen became famous in 1929 — at age 29 — as the Public Defender in the HEX Murder Trial. Books and plays have been written about the HEX Trial. This is the New York Daily News on April 7th, 1929. In real life — Herbert Cohen had pale blue eyes.
At 32, Herbert Cohen, a Democrat, was elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. He then became Majority Floor Leader for multiple terms. This is the Philadelphia Inquirer's coverage on Sunday, November 20th, 1932.
Herbert Cohen was at the forefront of civil rights progress long before the civil rights movement of the 1960s. On the left is a photo of Herbert Cohen in 1947, campaigning with African American PA Congressional Candidate Joe Rainey Jr., who was running on the Progressive Ticket. In racist, anti-Semitic York County, PA, both my Grandfather and Joe Rainey Jr. were putting their lives on the line.
This following facts are not meant to lessen George Leader's political impact and history.
At the same time, it is important to unmask the mainstream anti-Semitism that has kept talented, impactful American Jewish Political Leaders in the background.
Herbert Cohen was viewed as "presidential."
He was widely viewed as the the Leader of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania.
George Leader considered him to be his political mentor.
Herbert Cohen was also being respected for his integrity, compassion, and generosity.
The newspaper photo on the right shows Herbert Cohen (center) with gubnertorial candidiate George Leader (left) and Adlai Stevenson (right) at the campaign fundraising dinner that my Grandfather chaired.
As Time Magazine declared, George was in danger of losing the election, but the fundraising dinner that Herbert Cohen organized and chaired put George in front for good. However, while Time Magazine's article mentions gentile allies of George Leader, the magazine glaringly neglected to mention his closest ally, mentor and chairman of the pivotal dinner covered in their article: Jewish-American politician Herbert Cohen.
Anti-Semitism in mainstream American politics and publishing has always gone on.
Herbert Cohen — whom many viewed as the real power in Pennsylvania Politics — was described as the architect of the Democrats return to power in the state.
Herbert Cohen was described as being presidential.
Herbert Cohen was viewed by George, himself, as his political mentor and closest ally.
Herbert Cohen should have been on the cover of Time Magazine with George.
Instead — Herbert Cohen — a ground-breaking Jewish-American Leader — was not even mentioned in the article.
After George's election, Herbert Cohen was his first cabinet pick as Pennsylvania Attorney General. (News article to be added).
He later became Justice Cohen, a judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. (News article to be added).
Herbert Cohen was respected by Democrats and Republicans for his lifelong integrity, unbiased defense of constitutional rights, originality, and generosity.
Herbert Cohen — the son of Jewish immigrants — who grew up in anti-Semitic York County, PA — overcome that bigotry to become a popular political powerhouse in Pennsylvania — and nationally.
Locally — Herbert Cohen originated the concept of "Downtown York" to revitalize York's inner city — and along with my parents, Harry Jay Rubin and Margaret Cohen Rubin, and my Uncle Donn Cohen and Aunt Janet Cohen, my Grandfather and family significantly contributed to civil rights, education, and to lifting up those living in poverty in York, PA.
Herbert Cohen was a Self-made Man, an American Capitalist and Liberal Reformer, and a Respected Leader, but he was not rich.
Herbert Cohen did not prioritize the accumulation of wealth.
Herbert Cohen priortized his family, equal rights, justice and compassion.