Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years

 

Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Endangered
Top 10
2019

Young Historians 2019
Young
Historians
2019

Manitoba History No. 89
Manitoba
History

No. 89

War Memorials in Manitoba
War
Memorials
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old
Elevator

Abandoned Manitoba
Abandoned
Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans
Memorable
Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Albert Diamond Cohen (1914-2011)

Businessman, philanthropist, author.

Born at Winnipeg on 20 January 1914, he started an import company with his father which would become General Distributors and later Gendis Inc. His company holdings included real estate, oil and gas properties, investments in pipelines, and several retail chains including SAAN Stores, Metropolitan Stores, and Greenberg Stores. He brought Sony products to Canada after signing the first export agreement with what became the Sony Corporation. In the early 1950s, he introduced Canada to the Paper-Mate pen. The author of four business books, his first, The Entrepreneurs, was a Canadian bestseller in 1985.

During the Second World War, he served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1943 to 1946, stationed out of Halifax and Digby, Nova Scotia.

His philanthropic support included such institutions as the Manitoba Centennial Corporation, University of Manitoba, St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Banff Centre, and several Winnipeg hospitals. He served two terms as President of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre during which time he helped oversee construction of the current theatre facility. He was part of a group that helped to save St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in the mid 1970s during a financial crisis. He also served as President of the Winnipeg Clinic Research Foundation and was a board member of the Du Maurier Arts Council. He was an avid speed skater and held several Canadian records in the over-70 age class. He was a member of the Glendale Golf Club for many decades.

He received numerous awards, including the IDEA (International Distinguished Entrepreneur) Award for business prowess and integrity. He was inducted into the Order of Canada (member 1983, officer in 1994), Canadian Business Hall of Fame (1994), and the Order of Japan (2011). He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Manitoba (1987) and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).

He died at Winnipeg on 21 November 2011 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 November 2011.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 June 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.