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Judge Josiah Cohen, 2nd Oldest Jurist in U.s., Dies at 89

June 12, 1930
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Judge Josiah Cohen, the oldest active jurist in Pennsylvania, and next to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes the oldest in the country, died here today in his 90th year. Death was attributed to a heart attack that he suffered last Thursday. He was serving his third term on the Alleghany County court of common pleas.

Judge Cohen was born in Plymouth, England November 29, 1840 and came to the United States in 1859. Seven years later he was admitted to the bar in Pittsburgh. Together with Isaac M. Wise he was one of the founders of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and a member of the executive committee since its inception.

In 1882 he was chosen chairman of the executive committee of the Republican party of Alleghany County and two years later he was a presidential elector for Pennsylvania. In 1901 he was elected a judge of the orphan’s court and six years later he was chosen to the common pleas bench. He was reelected in 1917 and in 1927 for ten year terms.

Judge Cohen was a former member of the central board of education of Pittsburgh and for twelve years served as president of the Gusky Orphanage. He was a high official in the B’nai B’rith and a director of the Jewish Charities of Pittsburgh, of the Art Department of the Carnegie Institute and of the Y. M. H. A. For twenty years he was president of Congregation Rodef Sholom.

Despite his age he was one of the most active members of the court. Recently, together with his wife who survives him, he donated $20,000 to the Allied Jewish Campaign, being one of the first four contributors to the $6,000,000 campaign. Judge Cohen was an uncle of James N. Rosenberg, chairman of the New York division of the Allied Jewish Campaign.

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