Cohen, Joseph, 1902-1974

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Lawyer and banker; active in many Jewish and non-Jewish organizations; also interested in civil rights legislation.

From the description of Joseph Cohen papers, 1902-2006. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 772243081

Joseph Cohen

Joseph Cohen was born on March 23, 1902 in Kansas City, Missouri. After attending the University of Kansas and the University of Colorado, Cohen obtained his LLB at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1924.

Prior to entering law practice, Cohen worked as a newspaper reporter for the Kansas City Star for seven years. In 1924 Cohen organized the Kansas Association of B’nai B’rith Lodges. Remaining active in B’nai B’rith, Cohen was later elected president of District Grand Lodge No. 2 and was a member of the national commission of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith for 35 years.

In the early years of his law practice, Cohen earned a reputation for winning civil case judgments on behalf of African American clients. He often spoke in favor of laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and maintained an interest in civil rights legislation throughout his career. Cohen was also a banker, being chairman of the board of Rosedale State Bank and Trust Company of Kansas City and the Metcalf State Bank of Overland Park, Kansas.

Very active in communal affairs, Cohen was a member and officer in many groups, including the American Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association, and numerous other local groups. Cohen was a member of Congregation B’nai Jehudah, Kansas City, and an honorary member of the Board of Congregation Ohev Sholom, Prairie Village, Kansas.

Married to Margaret Pollock, Cohen had three children: Barton, Hildred, and Miles. Following Margaret’s death, Cohen married Marjorie Blond.

Joseph Cohen died on September 2, 1974.

Barton P. Cohen

Joseph’s son, Barton P. Cohen (1930-2006) assumed control of the Metcalf State Bank upon his father’s death. Together with his wife Mary, Barton was also very involved in the Kansas City area community. Through his professional and charitable activities Barton made a lasting impact in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities of Kansas City, as his papers attest.

From the guide to the Joseph Cohen Papers, 1902-2005, (The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Cohen, Joseph, 1902-1974. Joseph Cohen papers, 1902-2006. American Jewish Archives
creatorOf Joseph Cohen Papers, 1902-2005 The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anti-defamation league. corporateBody
associatedWith B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations. corporateBody
associatedWith Cohen, Barton P., 1930-2006. person
associatedWith Cohen family. family
associatedWith Congregation B'nai Jehudah (Kansas City, Mo.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Missouri--Kansas City. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Kansas City (Mo.)
Decedents' estates
Jewish bankers--Missouri--Kansas City
Lectures and lecturing
Jewish lawyers--Missouri


Birth 1902-03-23

Death 1974-09-02




Ark ID: w6fj3jbm

SNAC ID: 68375541