William Cohen facts for kids

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William Cohen
William Cohen, official portrait.jpg
20th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
January 24, 1997 – January 20, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Deputy John Hamre
Rudy de Leon
Preceded by William Perry
Succeeded by Donald Rumsfeld
Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee
In office
January 4, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by David Pryor
Succeeded by Chuck Grassley
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
In office
January 5, 1981 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by John Melcher
Succeeded by Mark Andrews
United States Senator
from Maine
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Bill Hathaway
Succeeded by Susan Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by Bill Hathaway
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
Personal details
William Sebastian Cohen

August 28, 1940 (1940-08-28) (age 79)
Bangor, Maine, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Diana Dunn (divorced 1987)
Janet Langhart (1996–present)
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Boston University

William Sebastian Cohen (born August 28, 1940) is an American politician and author from the U.S. state of Maine. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Cohen was a member of the city council of Bangor, Maine from 1969 to 1972, and also was mayor of this city from 1971 to 1972.

He served as both a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate from Maine, and as Secretary of Defense (1997–2001) under Democratic President Bill Clinton.

BBC News hired Cohen as a world affairs analyst in May 2016. Cohen appears in this capacity on BBC World News America and other broadcasts. He also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America. Cohen is also a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.

Personal life

William Cohen is partly of Jewish descent (his father was Jewish).

On February 14, 1996, Cohen and Janet Langhart were married. Langhart is a former model, Boston television personality, and BET correspondent. Janet Langhart was known as the "First Lady of the Pentagon" during Cohen's tenure as Secretary.

Cohen served as Best Man in then-Senate Naval Liaison John McCain's second wedding (Gary Hart was a groomsman). McCain later became his Senate colleague.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting

On the afternoon of June 10, 2009, Cohen was present at the United States Holocaust Museum, waiting for his wife Janet Langhart, for the world premiere of her one-act play, Anne and Emmett. The play imagines a conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till. While Cohen waited, an elderly man with a long gun attacked the facility, fatally shooting a security guard before being wounded himself by the other guards. Cohen and his wife were not injured during the attack.

2016 U.S. presidential election

During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Cohen joined many Republicans in breaking with party ranks to oppose the candidacy of Republican nominee Donald Trump. He endorsed Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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