Dr. Harry Cohen
Harry Cohen, a leading physician in the field of obstetrics and anesthesiology, died on
March 23, 2020. The resident of Naples, Florida, and former resident of Baltimore, Maryland,
Chicago, Illinois, and Miami, Florida, was 102.
Harry Cohen was the son of Meyer Cohen, a store owner, and Anne Cohen, a homemaker. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but spent his early years in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where he attended the Tome school. His family returned to Baltimore and he graduated from Forest Park High School in 1945, and later from University of Maryland, and University of Maryland College of Medicine. After graduating from medical school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was a Captain in the Medical Corp stationed in London, England.
After his discharge from the Army, he began his medical practice in Baltimore, MD, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology from 1950-1966. In 1968 he moved to New York City where he received a fellowship in anesthesiology from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was one of a handful of physicians, worldwide, who at that time had a dual specialty in obstetrics and anesthesiology.
After graduating from Columbia University School of Medicine, Dr. Cohen became a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and later held the same position at Northwestern University Medical School, where he also became the Director of Obstetrics and Anesthesiology. His formal professional activities included visiting professorships at Harvard University School of Medicine, Hadassah University Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel, and University of Maryland, University Hospital, to mention a few.
After receiving his fellowship in anesthesiology, Dr. Cohen became a much in demand speaker, giving scientific presentations and lectureships throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, Dr. Cohen was a prolific researcher and writer. His writings appeared in more than 20 books, and he was an original contributor and co-contributor to more than 40 medical journals and numerous abstracts. “He was a Renaissance Man” said his nephew, Robert Rombro. “Before embarking on his medical career, he considered a career as a concert violinist. In addition, he and his wife were avid art collectors and amassed a varied and substantial art collection. He was an avid pro football fan. While living in Baltimore he attended every Baltimore Colts home game, and when he moved to Miami and Chicago, he became a Dolphins and Bears fan as well.”
Harry Cohen is survived by the love of his life, Mitzie Polakoff Cohen. They just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. “He recently told me”, said Mr. Rombro, “that he was just as much in love with his wife after 70 years of marriage as he was after his first year of marriage.“
In addition to his wife, Dr. Cohen is survived by his daughters, Judith Cohen (Teddy Okum) and Deborah (Jay) Lenhoff, and a son, Dr. Howard (Mary Ellen) Cohen. He leaves behind five grandchildren; Andrew Cohen Barnhouse (Dana Campbell), David (Krysten) Cohen Barnhouse, Katie Lenhoff, Jessica Lenhoff, and Kelly Cohen, as well as three great-grandchildren; Michael Cohen Barnhouse, Ethan Cohen Barnhouse and Max Cohen Barnhouse. He was predeceased by his sister, Lillian (Sol) Snyder.
Funeral services and interment are private. Due to the Covid-19 virus, there will be no formal shiva. Contributions in memory of Harry Cohen can be made to the University of Maryland, School of Medicine's Dr. Harry and Mrs. Mitzie P. Cohen Lectureship in Obstetrics-Gynecology and Anesthesiology. Checks can be made payable to UMBF, Inc. and sent to the: University of Maryland School of Medicine Development Office, Attn: Traci Morgan, 31 South Greene Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.