2019 marks Bob Cohn’s 50th year with the St. Louis Jewish Light.
We owe him our thanks.
What do you call an 80-year-old man with a law degree who chose journalism over law, who has interviewed thousands of newsmakers over a 50-year journalism career, who can imitate Kermit the Frog and can croon, Kenny Rogers style, the classic tune “The Gambler.”
Call him Bob Cohn, the editor-in-chief emeritus of the Jewish Light whose stellar career will be celebrated next month at the St. Louis Press Club’s 27th Media Persons of the Year awards.
The honor is certainly appropriate for the man who has played an integral role in the growth and success of the Light and has helped educate and influence generations of readers and leaders in the St. Louis area.
Bob recalls that he has wanted to be a journalist since was 10 years old, and the career that began five decades ago has more than fulfilled that early ambition. After graduating from University City High School and Washington University as an undergraduate and from its law school, he moved into the newspaper business and saw his dream come true.
From interviewing stalwarts like the late Golda Meir during the first of his 18 trips to Israel, to shepherding the newspaper from the era of hot type to the electronic age, Cohn has seen his profession change dramatically and helped shape that transformation. His words and opinions have also graced this page, giving readers unique insight into the pressing issues of the day, from St. Louis to Israel and around the world.
The thousands of interviews he has conducted — many of them preserved on the old-school audio cassettes and the copies of articles that are stacked in his office or stored in his car — are a living (and leaning) record of a career and a life well spent. He is a resource with a photographic memory that has recorded the highs and lows of the local and worldwide Jewish community. He also is a husband of 53 years, married to the former Barbara Berg, a father of three and grandfather of five.
What’s left for Cohn as he continues at the Light? He looks forward to the continued presence of the informed, insightful editorials, commentary and arts coverage that he helped introduce to these pages. And he still has a bucket list of Jewish personalities he would like to interview, from Wonder Woman Gal Gadot to Barbra Streisand.
So here’s to the future of more Cohnipedic knowledge and wisdom — and Babs, if you’re reading, Bob will be waiting for your call.