In less than a month, three towering authors of books on unexplained topics have died.
American broadcaster and author, Coast to Coast AM’s Art Bell, 72, died on April 13, 2018. Then on May 6, 2018, writer Daniel Cohen, 82, known for most of his life for books on UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, and the occult, died the same day that Brad Steiger, 82, the author of books on ufology, cryptozoology, and conspiracies passed away.
Daniel Edward Cohen (March 12, 1936 – May 6, 2018) was an American nonfiction author who has produced nearly two-hundred books, most for juvenile audiences, although his focus changed after his daughter Theodora was killed in Pan Am Flight 103. Cohen’s daughter, Theodora, died in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. He and his wife Susan cowrote a book about it, entitled Pam Am 103: The Bombing, The Betrayals, and a Bereaved Family’s Search for Justice. They would frequently advocate for the victims in the press as well, until Daniel Cohen lost the ability to speak in 2011, after a stroke.
Daniel and Susan Cohen in 2003 with a photograph of their daughter, Theodora.
Cohen attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he graduated with degree in journalism in 1958. After graduation he worked as a proofreader at Time Inc. before becoming an editor for Science Digest. In 1969 he moved to upstate New York with his wife, Susan Handler Cohen, to begin a career as a freelance children’s writer. The couple had one daughter, named .
Cohen was well-known for his books about cryptozoology, ufology, ghosts, parapsychology, and the occult. Though Cohen was a self-described skeptic and onetime member of the skeptic organization, CSICOP, his books on paranormal phenomena take a more light-hearted, open-minded stance. Cohen wrote on numerous other topics, including sports, history, dinosaurs, nature, technology, and folklore. Some of these books include
Cohen wrote many books on “monsters” (cryptozoology):
The Encyclopedia of Monsters
Monster Hunting Today
A Modern Look At Monsters
Monsters, Giants and Little Men From Mars
The Monsters of Star Trek
Monsters You Never Heard Of
Great Monsters of the World
Cohen is also the author of the controversial Curses, Hexes and Spells (1974), which has appeared on several “banned books” lists due to its perceived advocacy of magic and witchcraft. Curses, Hexes, and Spells is number 73 on the American Library Association‘s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000.
As the New York Times noted:
Daniel Edward Reba was born in Chicago on March 12, 1936. His father, Edward Reba, and his mother, Suzanne Greenberg, divorced when he was very young. Soon after that, his mother married Milton Cohen, a left-wing social reformer, and Daniel took his stepfather’s surname.
After graduating from high school in 1954, he enrolled in the University of Illinois at Navy Pier in Chicago. He later graduated from the university’s campus in Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
After working at Time magazine and Science Digest, Mr. Cohen began writing books — nearly all for children and teenagers — about ghosts, U.F.O.s, the occult, ESP, vampires, werewolves, conspiracies, cloning, weather and the human genome.
He wrote biographies of the astronomer Carl Sagan and Jesse Ventura, the pro wrestler who was later elected governor of Minnesota. In all, he wrote nearly 200 books.
With his wife, Mr. Cohen wrote “When Someone You Know Is Gay” (1989), an introduction to homosexuality that Publishers Weekly said “performs a needed service: While gay teens will read it, learn and feel less alone, the target audience is the friends and classmates of gays.”
Daniel Cohen lived in Middle Township, New Jersey with his wife, Susan, who survives him. He and his wife Susan were founders of the Caper’s Sherlock Holmes Society in Cape May County and active members of the Wodehouse Society, especially the Philadelphia Chapter. He loved his clumber spaniels, cats, bird watching, and walking on the beach (Source). He died at Cape May, New Jersey.
With over 200 books published, Cohen’s legacy is rich, from monsters, to ufos, to other unexplained topics.
The World of UFOs
The Great Airship Mystery