Peter A. Cohen

NET WORTH: Unknown


FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Health, Jewish causes

OVERVIEW: Peter Cohen and his family conduct their philanthropy through The Cohen Family Foundation, whose grantmaking largely focuses on the East Coast, particularly New York City. Education and arts are their top interests. Recent grantmaking has been modest and many grants are under $1,000. 

BACKGROUND: Peter A. Cohen received a B.S. from Ohio State University in 1968 and an MBA from Columbia University. He was chairman of the board and CEO of Shearson Lehman Brothers from 1983 to 1990. Cohen went on to cofound Ramius and serves as CEO of Cowen & Co., a diversified financial services firm


EDUCATION & YOUTH: Cohen and family have supported Duke University, Columbia Prep & Grammar School, The Ohio State University, Columbia University Business School, Brown University, and University of Wisconsin, Cohen’s wife Brooke graduated from the school and is on the board of visitors of University of Wisconsin’s School of Human Ecology.           

ARTS & CULTURE: Brooke is on the board of MoMA’s Contemporary Arts Council. The Cohens support MoMA as well as Apollo Theater, American Museum of Natural History, and Randall's Island Park Alliance. Cohen’s ex-wife, Karen, founded the Randall’s Island Park Alliance in 1992.

HEALTH:  Grantees include Mount Sinai Health System, The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation, and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).

JEWISH CAUSES: The Cohen family supports Jewish institutions, including Central Synagogue.

LOOKING FORWARD: It is unclear whether the family’s annual grantmaking through their foundation will increase in the coming years, but expect the Cohens to stick with their prior interest areas.


The Cohen Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact but below is an address:

Cohen Family Foundation
The Ayco Co., LP, P.O. Box 860
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Telephone: (518) 640-5000