Cohen died Tuesday at his home, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss
It was nearly 21 years to the day after Cohen, Don Gaston and
Paul Dupee submitted an offer sheet to buy the Celtics from
then-owner Harry Mangurian, The trio owned the team until 1992,
when it was sold to Gaston's son, Paul.
The team expressed sadness at Cohen's passing, noting his
accomplishments while part of team ownership in a statement. During
Cohen's tenure, the Celtics won their last two NBA titles, in 1984
Cohen was instrumental in signing Larry Bird to a 1988 deal that
paid the future Hall-of-Famer more than $7 million in 1991-92, a
league record at the time.
Before his involvement with the Celtics, Cohen was chairman and
CEO of the Madison Square Garden Corp., owner of the New York
Knicks and the NHL New York Rangers. He also owned an interest in
the New Jersey Nets.
As professional teams sought more ways to generate revenue,
Cohen developed the idea of placing revolving advertisements
courtside at NBA games.
In the 1970s, Cohen was part of a group that owned the New York
Cosmos, the North American Soccer League franchise that gained
international prominence by signing soccer superstar Pele.
Cohen was born in Passaic, N.J., on Dec. 19, 1930. He graduated
from Columbia College in 1952 and Columbia Law School in 1954.
After serving in the Army, Cohen began his career in law and