Ben Cowen, Australian entrepreneur and Jewish community activist, killed in gliding accident


SYDNEY (JTA) — Ben Cowen, an entrepreneur and a Jewish community leader in Australia, died in a paragliding accident while on vacation with his family.

Cowen, the youngest child of the late Governor-General Zelman Cowen, crashed after being caught in strong winds on Sunday afternoon. He was 50.

Cowen was known as a keen adventurer and founded the Anaconda chain of camping and outdoor megastores, which he sold before becoming an investment adviser. He sold the chain in the late 2000s and founded Edison Partners, a boutique advisory firm, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, and also worked as a lawyer and investment banker.

Rabbi Shimon Cowen told the Australian media that his brother “had a very bold spirit.”

“He was an outdoorsman who took his family camping, planning very elaborate trips,” Shimon Cowen said.

Ben Cowen’s Jewish community efforts included the United Israel Appeal, the Victorian Jewish Community Security Group and the King David School in Melbourne.

His father was knighted in 1976 and shortly afterward became Australia’s second Jewish governor-general. Zelman Cowen died in 2011.

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