Medal in 1992. In 1993 Cohen was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and was made an honorary member of the Japan Institute of Metals in 1999. Cohen was elected to fellow status in both TMS and ASM International. In 1994 he received the honorary degree Tekniks Doktor from the Linkoping Institute of Technology in Sweden. Cohen served on the Academic Advisory Board of the NAE and on several National Research Council boards and committees. His professional society participation was capped by the presidency of the American Crystallographic Association in 1982.
Personally, Jerry Cohen enjoyed lifelong learning and “living on the edge.” His self-instruction on the piano and the classical harmonica (not too successful), his Porche racing (a hobby taken up rather late in his professional career), and his travels with his wife, Lois, to exotic locales (like the Arctic and the Galapagos Islands) left many wondering what was next. Indeed, his next adventure was to have been in a fighter landing on an aircraft carrier—yet one more indication of his trust in engineering and in the materials selection for a relatively small metal hook!
Jerry Cohen is survived by his wife, Lois, a daughter, Elissa Halpern, a son, Andrew, a sister, Rita Copperman, and four grandchildren. “Jerry loved Northwestern,” said Lois Cohen. “He was proud to be associated with the school for the past almost forty years. His contributions were legendary. There are not enough words to describe the loss his family feels.” As former Northwestern President Arnold Weber noted in the memorial service, “The deep void created by his sudden passing offers vivid evidence of the prodigious talents and expansive reach that Jerry Cohen brought to his family, friends, colleagues and Northwestern University. He served almost all of his professional career, more than forty years, on the faculty of Northwestern and was the finest representation of the values and traditions of the University.”