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Kalman Joseph Cohen ’51

A picture of Kalman Joseph Cohen

Kalman Joseph Cohen ’51, September 12, 2010, in Durham, North Carolina. Economist, professor, and author, Kal (known as Joe when at Reed) earned a BA in mathematics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. “Attending Reed College was a major pivotal point in my life. At Reed, I developed a deep intellectual curiosity, fueled by both faculty and fellow students. The social, academic, and athletic opportunities interwove, offering a balanced and challenging lifestyle.” Kal played trombone for Gilbert & Sullivan productions, square danced in the student union, participated in informal sports and recreation and outing club trips, worked part-time in commons, and also operated a campus laundry and dry cleaning facility. He treasured his memories of the academic life and the related gab sessions. The Reed experience provided an ideal foundation for work at Oxford University, he said, where curiosity and the ability to work independently were required. He received an MLitt in mathematical logic from Oxford and completed a PhD in economics at Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1959. “Although my professorial career started in economics, gradually my interests switched to banking, finance, and securities markets.” He was a tenured professor in three business schools: Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, and Duke University. He did research in and taught management science applications in banking. His research moved into microstructure of securities markets with teaching in corporate finance. He began his tenure with Duke in 1974, and was Distinguished Bank Research Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, retiring in 1993. He also was a visiting professor in Sweden, Denmark, China, and Singapore. Kal received numerous scholarships, fellowships, and research grants from many sources, including the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the FDIC. He wrote 8 books and over 80 articles on banking, management, security market microstructure, corporate finance, computer simulation, and microeconomics. He also swam more than a mile every other day, vacationed in the mountains of North Carolina, and was a Duke University basketball fan. He and Joan C. Newman were married in 1956. She survives him, as do two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren, and a brother.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2011

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