Charles S. Cohen

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Charles S. Cohen
Charles S. Cohen at MIFF.jpg
Born (1952-02-08) February 8, 1952 (age 65)
Residence Manhattan, New York
Nationality United States
Education B.A. Tufts University
J.D. Brooklyn Law School
Occupation real estate developer
film producer
Known for president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation
Net worth US$2.65 billion (04 October 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Clo Jacobs
Children four
Parent(s) Gloria Cohen
Sherman Cohen

Charles S. Cohen (born February 8, 1952)[2] is an American real estate developer and film producer.

Early life and education[edit]

Cohen was raised in a Jewish family[3] in Harrison, New York,[2] the son of Gloria and Sherman Cohen.[4] His father was founder of Cohen Brothers Realty & Construction Corporation[4] which he founded with his two brothers in the 1950s to buy low-rise apartment buildings in Westchester County and made a fortune in 1955 when Manhattan’s Third Avenue elevated railway line was dismantled opening property they had purchased cheaply for development.[3] At the age of 14, he worked weekends showing apartments for his father in Manhattan[3] At the age of 16, he made his first short film winning an honorable mention at the Kodak Teenage Movie Awards competition.[3] Cohen attended New York University for a year and a half before transferring to Tufts where he majored in English.[3] In 1974, Cohen graduated from Tufts University and in 1977, he graduated from Brooklyn Law School.[5]


Charles S. Cohen is an American real estate developer, film distributor and producer, and patron of the arts. He is the owner, president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation, a private commercial real estate development and management firm with a portfolio of  Class A commercial office buildings and design centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, and South Florida. He also is the chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group, which he formed in 2008 to produce and distribute independent and arthouse films throughout North America. CMG is today the largest American distributor of French films in the United States, while its specialty home entertainment label, the Cohen Film Collection, releases restored and remastered editions of classic Hollywood and foreign films on Digital platforms, Blu-ray and DVD.

In 2014, Charles S. Cohen took over the reins at one of New York City’s most revered movie houses, the historic Quad Cinema in the heart of Greenwich Village. Cohen plans to fully refurbish the existing theater, offering cinema lovers a historic transformation of the Quad Cinema, which was unveiled in 2017. A long time champion of independent and foreign film, Charles S. Cohen’s experience in theater design includes the renovation of New York’s AMPAS Academy Theater at Lighthouse International at 59th street in New York City and the building of the SilverScreen Theater inside the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.  Under Cohen's direction, the Quad will continue to show critically acclaimed foreign and independent films, as well as restored titles from The Cohen Film Collection, and repertory films from other leading distributors, in a professionally curated way.

Cohen serves on the board of trustees of the Lighthouse Guild, Real Estate Board of New York, Museum of Art and Design and The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF). He has been honored twice by the Republic of France: In 2014, he received the Ordre National Du Mérite (National Order of Merit) from the French President for his efforts in promoting French cinema and art, and in 2015, he received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters).

Cohen was lead executive producer of 2008’s Frozen River, which received two Academy Award nominations and won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. He directed and produced a short film that won a Kodak Movie Award, and produced Oscar winner Chuck Workman’s documentary Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles and What is Cinema? 

Other Work[edit]

From 1991 to 1993 he was a chairman at the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation. Cohen serves on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Lighthouse International Theater, the Public Theater, Real Estate Board of New York, the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.[5]


In 2002, Cohen was awarded the Israel Peace Medal and was honored by the B’nai B’rith International. In 2008, he produced the film Frozen River, which received two Academy Award nominations. Twice, he has been honored by the Republic of France: In 2014, he received the Ordre National Du Mérite (National Order of Merit) from the French President for his efforts in promoting French cinema and art, and in 2015, he received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters).

Personal life[edit]

Cohen has been married twice.[2] He is divorced from his first wife; they have two children, a daughter who teaches kindergarten and a son who works in real-state finance.[3] In 2004, he married his second wife, Clodagh "Clo" Margaret Jacobs,[4] a former marketing and publicity executive for fashion designer Jimmy Choo,[3] in a Jewish ceremony at the The St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan;[4] they have two children.[3] The couple divides their time between homes in Manhattan and in suburban Connecticut.[2]