Skip to content

Gordon Cohn

Last updated 10/11/2021

Joined the University in 1961 as a member of the writing staff in what was then called University Planning, now University Advancement. Later served as fund-raiser for the medical school, head of fund-raising and public relations for the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, public relations director for the College of Continuing Education, and finally, as director of public relations for the Kenneth Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital. Retired in 1992.

Since recording and writing the life of former USC President Norman Topping, I have assisted 39 others in the preparation and publication of their autobiographies for distribution to children, grandchildren, friends, and associates. My 39th client, a Los Angeles native now 87 years of age, has published his story of service in the only Negro infantry unit to fight in Europe when the U.S. military was segregated: Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II. The book is selling nicely. My most recent client was a 1972 USC alum who continues to operate a Santa Ana travel agency his father, also an alum, established in 1939.
This unexpected second life has filled with satisfaction and gratitude the 20 years since my retirement from the university. It continues to be a life-sustaining labor of love.

Gordon Cohn
Long Beach

LESSONS LEARNED: Lifelong learning, exercise, and travel are the great energizers. More good literature is published each year than any human being can hope to read. Friendships made in youth are seldom, if ever, duplicated in later life. Courtesy and civility are vanishing from American life. USC is totally different from the institution I joined 51 years go, and while the intimacy of those long-ago days is gone, the university’s stature has grown in ways that are thrilling and apparently never-ending.