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Leonard Cohen was an acclaimed singer-songwriter, novelist and poet whose name is immortalized in the books of Canadian literary arts.
He was students’ council president in high school and also formed a band called Buckskin Boys after teaching himself the acoustic guitar.
Also serving as debating union president at McGill University in 1951, he won a competition for his poems. His first published poem book is Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956.
Best Known For
He wrote and sang the very popular and widely adapted song, Hallelujah, featured on his 1984 album, Various Positions. His exceptional literary work won him a Prince of Asturias Award in 2011 and his musical efforts earned him inductions into Canadian Music, Canadian Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.
Leonard was straight and is most remembered for his relationships with Marianne Ihlen all through the 60s, Suzanne Elrod through the 70s, Dominique Issermann through the 80s and Rebecca De Mornay from 1990 to 1993.
He was the son of Nathan Cohen and Marsha Klonitsky. He and Elrod were parents of Adam and Lorca and hence, grandparents to Cassius, Viva and Lyon.
Leonard was born a Jew and remained a Jew until his death. He revered Jesus Christ, practiced Zen Buddhism for over 20 years and became a monk in 1996.
Worth To Know
He was given the Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991 and the most venerable Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002. He is also a Grand-Officer of the National Order of Quebec.
His Zen name, Jikan means “silent one” and his Hebrew name, Eliezer means “God is my help”.