Leonard Cohen & Av Cohen Lose Debate To Penitentiary Inmates – 1958

tojailLeonard Cohen was, in fact, the President of the McGill Debating Union, but, his linguistic skills notwithstanding, he and his partner, Avrum Cohen, were defeated by a team of convicts (who did have the advantage of playing on their home field). The following excerpt is from “The Cohens of McGill”  by  Jim Hynes (McGill Reporter May 15, 2008 – Vol 40; No 17):

Avrum Cohen followed his father Hyman’s first steps on campus, earning a BA in 1953 and a law degree in 1956. Back in the days when the position came with a room adjacent to its offices in what is now the Redpath Museum, the future lawyer served as President of the McGill Students’ Society. He was also part of McGill’s Debating Union Society, teaming up in 1956 with an unrelated Leonard Cohen (yes, that Leonard Cohen) for a debating contest tour that included a loss to a team of inmates from thepenitentiary where one debate was held. Avrum Cohen later married Robin’s mother, Barbara, who earned a Diploma in Teaching – at McGill, of course. [emphasis mine]

Note: Originally posted December 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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