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Cohen, Louis Samuel (1846–1922)

The following, which appeared in the 'London Daily Telegraph,' 13/9/22, we are able to publish through the kind offices of Mr. M. E. Moseley. A notice of Mr. Louis Cohen's death appeared in our issue of September 15th.

Among the notable dead was a visionary, though he didn't look it, nor does the business of a great drapery store suggest the home of a visionary. Louis Cohen — nobody ever called him anything else in Liverpool — became the proprietor of the great department store, as Americans term it, which stands, or, it might be said, flaunts and proclaims itself, opposite the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool in one of its most throbbing spots. It is one of the great shopping centres of the city; has storey heaped upon storey, till it reaches something of the proportions of the New York skyscraper; and it is all thought out in its appeal to the buying public by a series of business men of genius, of whom Louis Cohen was one of the greatest. He took an active part in the life of his city; was Councillor, then Alderman, and finally Lord Mayor, the first man of the Jewish race ever elected to that great position in a great city. And he was a real Jew— conforming to all the rites and doctrines of his creed, tolerant of every other religion, but profoundly attached to his own.

So also in politics; he was a peculiarly strong and convinced member of the Conservative Party, and did battle fearlessly and constantly with the Liberal, the Irish Nationalist, the English Labour men who form the vigorous minority of the Corporation. But he never left bitterness in any heart. Who could be bitter with this stout, full faced, jolly good fellow, who met attack with a beaming smile and who presented something in his appearance that recalled the debonnair monarch, who passed away a few years ago? You met Louis Cohen, too, everywhere in the social life of his city. He was especially prominent on the golf links, fighting strenuously, tenaciously, but with imperturbable good humour, every opponent, and by preference those of other creeds and other parties. A game with him was a lesson in good temper and good feeling. I have called him a visionary, for he was always thinking out some project that would help the less successful in life. From his uncle, David Lewis, he inherited the splendid but costly monument of a great popular hospital, and to that asylum for the wounded, the sick, and the broken he gave time and care and vast sums of money. He endowed, richly, a school of dentistry in the University; his hand was always open. Finally, at the vital moment of sacrifice for his country, he gave his two sons to the War; one died on the field; the other, who lost both legs, is now a universally popular member of the House of Commons, whose chair, on which he has to move, any member thinks it an honour to help in trundling from the floor of the House to the other parts of the building.

Original publication

  • Hebrew Standard of Australasia (Sydney), 27 October 1922, p 7 (view original)

Citation details

'Cohen, Louis Samuel (1846–1922)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cohen-louis-samuel-20420/text31377, accessed 22 July 2018.

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