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Benjamin V. Cohen papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS-108

Scope and Contents

This collection includes articles and clippings about Mr. Cohen, biographical material and copies of some of his speeches.


  • Creation: 1933-1981

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Benjamin Victor Cohen was born in Muncie, Indiana on September 23, 1894, the son of Polish immigrants. He received his bachelor and law degrees from the University of Chicago in 1914 and 1915, receiving the highest grades ever given by the law school. He received his doctorate from Harvard in 1916.

Active in the Jewish Zionist movement, Cohen was asked by Justice Brandeis to go to London after World War I to oversee the writing of the League of Nations Mandate. On his return to the United States, Cohen opened a law office in New York City, specializing in corporate law. When President Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933, Cohen was appointed assistant general counsel of the Public Works Administration. In 1934, he became general counsel of the National Power Policy Commission. Together with Thomas Corcoran, his longtime associate, Cohen helped formulate some of the most important laws of the decade, including the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 and the Fair Labor Standards Act. The team also played an active role in formulating the plans for the Tennessee Valley Association (TVA).

When World War II broke out, Cohen became the assistant to the director of the Office of Economic Stabilization and 1943 he was named general counsel to the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion.

After the war, Cohen devoted his time between the United Nations, as a special member of the U.S. delegation and to furthering the State of Israel. He retired from public life with the advent of the Eisenhower administration, but became an advisor to John F. Kennedy. Benjamin Cohen died in 1983.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by format.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Bernard Freund in 1989.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1989/07/21 by David Tambo. Finding aid created 1989/07/21 by David Tambo. Finding aid revised 1992/03/02 by Nancy Turner. Finding aid revised 2009/10/12 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid completed 2009/10/12 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid revised 2013/08/01 by Leslie Nellis.

Benjamin V. Cohen papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA