Sad News – Sheldon Cohen – Harvard Square

In Loving Memory of Sheldon Cohen: Harvard Square Icon and Philanthropist

It is with deep heartache that we mourn the loss of Sheldon Cohen, the founder of Out of Town News, remarkable philanthropist, and a beloved friend of many. On Sunday, October 15th, 2020 Sheldon passed away at the age of 92.

Tracing His Roots to Harvard Square

Sheldon’s legacy within the Harvard Square community stretches back to his childhood. He and his father used to sell newspapers in front of Harvard Square’s T station. Following his father’s death, Sheldon founded his own business, known as Out of Town News Inc., in 1955. A business that grew in fame and success until its sale to Hudson News in 1994.

A Renowned Figure in Harvard Square

To this very day, Sheldon’s impact on this community is ever-present and undeniable. During 1984 and 1988, he served as President of Harvard Square Business Association, where he was given the nickname of “Unofficial Mayor of Harvard Square”. The current executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, Denise Jillson, commented on his influence: “Sheldon was a Harvard Square icon. His advice and larger than life presence will be deeply missed.”

Celebrating the Life of The Late Mr. Cohen

Sheldon will be greatly missed, and fondly remembered by his wife Gaby Cohen, his children Leslie, Beth and Marcie, his stepchildren Limor and Shirly, and his grandchildren Jennifer, Lindsey, Alexandra, Ethan, Matan, Cole, Sage, and Storm. He was laid to rest at Mishkan Tefilah Cemetery in W. Roxbury, MA on Thursday, October 19th. Followed by a memorial observance from 1PM to 5PM at Cannon Forge Clubhouse in Foxborough, and his shiva at Gaby Cohen’s home on Friday October 20th which will continue from 2:00PM to 5:00PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Global Smile Foundation, located at 106 Access Road, Suite 209, Norwood, MA 02062 or online at

Rest in Peace, Sheldon Cohen: A Harvard Square Icon & Philanthropist