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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2011 Awardees 2011 (Gregory Award) Steven Cohen

Steven Cohen was a producer and manager for thirty years in the entertainment industry, with some service in US politics, before devoting his time and resources to his other passion – paleontology. He went on his first dinosaur dig in 1995 and later increased his activity to four digs a year. In 2001 Louis Jacobs proposed him for membership to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology; he soon thereafter became a member of the Development Committee. In 2004, Steven set aside a $50,000 SVP legacy grant for student research.

In 2009, he produced and directed WE ARE SVP, now on our website. In collaboration with colleagues Louis Jacobs and Louis Taylor, the video was created to show the multi-disciplinary nature of our science and the diversity of the practitioners of paleontology.

In 2002, as a member of Phil Currie’s team in the Gobi Desert, Outer Mongolia, Steven was the first to find the furcula of a Tarbosaurus.

From 1996-2004, Steven worked in Texas with expedition leader, Louis Jacobs. The result of this effort was a new species and genus – Puluxysaurus jonesi. In 1995 and again from 1999 to 2003, he was involved with fieldwork in Montana, principally excavation and preparation of a T. rex. Triassic dinosaurs brought him to Argentina in 2000 and 2001. A 1999 Neanderthal dig in the south of Spain was a change of pace. From 2004 to present, he worked with Tyler Lyson’s MRF "North Dakota Vertebrate Paleontology.” Steven also volunteered at the AMNH VP prep lab from 2000 to 2003.

In 2005 he was elected a member to The Explorers Club. In 2009, Tyler Lyson named a newly discovered species of Cretaceous turtle –Palatobaena cohen – in Steven’s honor.

In the theatre, Steven was an Off Broadway manager, becoming a Broadway production stage manager at age 24, before he started a 22-year association with Joseph Papp. He became Papp’s Associate Producer, during which time their theatre became the largest and most influential theatrical institution in the United States.

During his tenure, Steven was fortunate to work on many award-winning productions starring such actors as: Richard Gere, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Sam Waterston, Christopher Walken, Linda Ronstadt and Michelle Pfieffer.

In 1968 and again in 1970, Steven took time off from the theatre to take on the task as one of the campaign coordinators for Congressman Allard Lowenstein.

Steven negotiated several historic and landmark agreements for the theatre, one of which was signed by Mayor Dinkins and Steven at a NYC City Hall ceremony.

In recognition of his more than a quarter century contribution to the theatre he received a Doctor of Performing Arts, honoris causa in 1994. He also received additional awards from the theatrical and TV Cable communities.

In 1996, Steven was called to Texas to serve as chief operating officer of Sun & Star, a 100 day $10 million celebration of Japanese culture, which the Japanese government regarded as “the most significant festival of Japanese culture ever held in the United States.” For his participation, the Consul General of Japan, the Dallas and Fort Worth Public Schools and the City of Dallas honored Steven.

Photo courtesy of Steven Cohen.