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In 1926, Lester Cohen published the novel Sweepings, which became an international best seller and critical success. Soon after, he published The Great Bear and then Aaron Traum with his father, Dr. Hyman Cohen. Following the success of these works, Cohen was invited to Hollywood, where he wrote both original stories and screenplays.
Sweepings was twice made into a motion picture. His best known screenplay is Of Human Bondage, 1934, with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard. After a trip around the world with his wife, Eden Gray, in the early 1930s, he wrote the travel book, Two Worlds.
In 1935, Cohen moved to a farm near Carversville, PA, which was his home for almost twenty years. In 1936, he worked on the screenplay of I Claudius with Charles Laughton at the Korda studios in England. The novel Coming Home, 1945, another bestseller, was later reissued as Stella and Joe. Other nonfiction books include Billy Mitchell with Emile Govereau, The New York Graphic, and Mom and Pop.
Lester Cohen, newspaper clipping, New York Times, 1963. James A. Michener Art Museum archives.
Education and Training
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Connection to Bucks County
Cohen and his family moved to Pheasant Hill Farm near Carversville, Bucks County, in 1935. This was his home for almost twenty years. Cohen was present at Pearl S. Buck's dinner to celebrate her Nobel Prize in 1938. Cohen's first wife, the actress Eden Gray, performed at the Bucks County Playhouse.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Cohen's first wife was the actress Eden Gray (born Priscilla Partridge). He was friendly with Melvin Levy and Josephine Herbst, among others.
Authors League of America, League of American Writers, Screenwriters Guild, American League for a Free Palestine
Novels and Short Stories
The Great Bear, 1927
Oscar Wilde, A Play, 1928
Aaron Traum, with Hyman Cohen, 1930
Two Worlds, 1936
Billy Mitchell: Founder of Our Airforce and Prophet Without Honor, with Emile Gauvreau, 1942
Coming Home, 1945
Of Human Bondage, 1934
Break of Hearts, 1935
Three Sons, from the novel Sweepings, 1939
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