Joseph Cohen, president of the Leslie Group, a company with ownership interests in film, TV and animation, died May 29 of a heart attack. He was 52.
Cohen, who was active in the industry through a number of companies he owned and oversaw, served as chairman at New Frontier Entertainment before founding Leslie/Linton Entertainment. While at New Frontier, Cohen exec produced the children’s animated TV series “Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders,” which was seen in more than 130 countries including the U.S.
Prior to that, Cohen sprinkled his interests throughout Hollywood as he concurrently served as chairman of Odyssey Entertainment, where he oversaw the 65-episode animated TV series “Galaxy Rangers,” and as chairman of Alex’s Art House, a full-service animation production studio.
Cohen also served as chief exec officer of Lacey Entertainment, an international television producer and worldwide distributor for programs such as “America’s Dumbest Criminals” and the popular “Pokemon” animated TV series.
Aside from his ties to the film and TV industries, Cohen’s reign also extended into the world of music. He served as president of Pickwick Communications following his stint as exec VP of the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers, where he introduced a number of membership programs and created popular marketing campaigns.
Cohen also served on the board of directors of I-Link Worldwide and Knit Media.
He received the Video Software Dealers Assn. presidential award in 1984, VSDA’s founders award in 1991 and the Recording Industry Assn. of America honorary gold record award in 1981.
The Troy, N.Y., native, who earned his MBA from Bernard M. Baruch College of the City U. of N.Y. after receiving a bachelor of science degree from Rider U., was a leader in industry and community organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai Brith and the Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation.
Cohen is survived by his wife and two children.