Claudia Cohen, gossip columnist, 56

Journalist was early Page Six reporter

Claudia Cohen, a New York gossip columnist who became the subject of much gossip herself when she married billionaire Ronald Perelman, died June 15 of ovarian cancer in Manhattan. She was 56.

By the time of her death, Cohen was a millionaire socialite renowned for her contacts and East Hampton parties, but she had her start 30 years earlier as one of the first reporters for the New York Post’s Page Six, dishing on the sort of people she would later invite to her parties.

Two years after her 1977 start at Page Six, she become the column’s second editor, overseeing the column’s coverage of such legendary locales as Studio 54.

In the early 80s, while penning a gossip column for the Daily News, Cohen began dating Perelman. She became a boldface name herself when she became the second of his four wives. When they divorced years later, she left with an $80 million settlement and a permanent place in New York’s socialite circles.

After her divorce, she briefly dated New York Sen. Alfonse D’Amato.

Most recently, Cohen was an entertainment correspondent for television’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” and “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.” She appeared as a guest on “Larry King Live” and as a judge in the “Miss America Pageant.”

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