Judge Gerald B. Cohn ’61
Majored in history
Judge, U.S. District Court in California
After graduation from Illinois College, Gerald Cohn continued on to the Chicago School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1964. Cohn was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on May 1, 1981, and sworn in that same day.
For Cohn setting goals and staying the course was the norm. “My Illinois College experience prepared me for life by building a foundation, a stability upon which I rely.”
Not long after Cohn finished school he enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army in 1965 and was released as a sergeant in 1967 after he served in Vietnam. He was in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1967 to 1971.
Cohn’s vast career began when he first started practicing law at Pratt, Mosele, Cohn and Day from 1967 to 1970 and then from 1970 to 1980 at Cohn, Kardis and Sherwood. He has lectured at Lewis and Clark Community College, Southern Illinois University Dental School and Saint Louis University; and was supervising judge in the Judicial Clerkship Program at Saint Louis University, Washington University and SIU Carbondale from 1981 to present.
Additionally, Judge Cohn participated in the international prisoner transfer pursuant to treaty, Bangkok, Thailand, from December 1998 to 2000; lectured at School of Law and Economics, Shanghai and Beijing, China; was supervising judge in Washington University’s International Law program series of lectures and articles on judicial ethics in conjunction with the National Judicial College, Supreme Collegia on Judicial Qualifications of the Russian Federation and the Russian-American Judicial Partnership, Irkutsk, Russia, in 1999. Cohn was admitted to Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in 1965, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in 1979, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1972 and the Veterans Administration Appeals Board in 1966. He retired in 2005.
Cohn’s awards include the President Jimmy Carter Presidential Citation for outstanding community achievement of Vietnam Era Veterans awarded in 1979; the Americanism Award for Disabled American Veterans, also in 1979; the Certificate of Merit from the Veterans of Foreign War in 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979; the Washington University School of Law Commendation in 1983; and the Illinois State Bar Association Commendation in 1985. An Eagle Scout, Cohn has served on the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Archeology since 1992 and served as president in 2009; the Mycenaean Foundation since 1999; and the Cardinal Glennon Hospital Foundation Board of Governors.