William Cohen

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William Cohen
William Cohen, official portrait.jpg
20th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
January 24, 1997 – January 20, 2001[1]
PresidentBill Clinton
DeputyJohn Hamre
Rudy de Leon
Preceded byWilliam Perry
Succeeded byDonald Rumsfeld
Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee
In office
January 4, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded byDavid Pryor
Succeeded byChuck Grassley
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
In office
January 5, 1981 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byJohn Melcher
Succeeded byMark Andrews
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1997
Preceded byBill Hathaway
Succeeded bySusan Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded byBill Hathaway
Succeeded byOlympia Snowe
Personal details
BornWilliam Sebastian Cohen
(1940-08-28) August 28, 1940 (age 78)
Bangor, Maine, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Diana Dunn (divorced 1987)
Janet Langhart (1996–present)
Alma materBowdoin College
Boston University
ReligionUnitarian Universalism[2]

William Sebastian Cohen (born August 28, 1940) is an American politician and author from the U.S. state of Maine. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Cohen was a member of the city council of Bangor, Maine from 1969 to 1972, and also was mayor of this city from 1971 to 1972.

He served as both a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate from Maine, and as Secretary of Defense (1997–2001) under Democratic President Bill Clinton.

BBC News hired Cohen as a world affairs analyst in May 2016. Cohen appears in this capacity on BBC World News America and other broadcasts.[3] He also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America. Cohen is also a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.[4]

Personal life[change | change source]

William Cohen is partly of Jewish descent (his father was Jewish).[5]

On February 14, 1996, Cohen and Janet Langhart[6] were married. Langhart is a former model, Boston television personality, and BET correspondent. Janet Langhart was known as the "First Lady of the Pentagon" during Cohen's tenure as Secretary.[7]

Cohen served as Best Man in then-Senate Naval Liaison John McCain's second wedding (Gary Hart was a groomsman). McCain later became his Senate colleague.[8]

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting[change | change source]

On the afternoon of June 10, 2009, Cohen was present at the United States Holocaust Museum, waiting for his wife Janet Langhart, for the world premiere of her one-act play, Anne and Emmett. The play imagines a conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till.[9] While Cohen waited, an elderly man with a long gun attacked the facility, fatally shooting a security guard before being wounded himself by the other guards. Cohen and his wife were not injured during the attack.[10]

2016 U.S. presidential election[change | change source]

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Cohen joined many Republicans in breaking with party ranks to oppose the candidacy of Republican nominee Donald Trump. He endorsed Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [11]

References[change | change source]

  1. "William S. Cohen - William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  2. Kuttler, Hillel (1997-01-26). "Cohen new Pentagon chief". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  3. Grinapol, Corinne (May 31, 2016). "William Cohen Joins BBC News as a World Affairs Analyst". Ad Week. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  4. https://www.issueone.org/reformers/
  5. www.boston.com
  6. Cohen's wife Janet
  7. First Lady of the Pentagon
  8. "Arizona, the early years". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  9. Brevis, Vita. "State of the Nation". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  10. Ruane, Michael E.; Duggan, Paul; Williams, Clarence (June 11, 2009). "At a Monument of Sorrow, A Burst of Deadly Violence". The Washington Post.
  11. "Republican ex-defense secretary Cohen backs Hillary Clinton".

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to William Cohen at Wikimedia Commons