Stuart Cohen passed away on April 8, on the eve of Passover, after suffering respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

He was born on Jan. 1, 1947, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Samuel and Nettie Cohen.

A person dedicated to serving others, Cohen joined the U.S. Navy in 1967 and was stationed in the South Pacific as a radio operator.

Moving to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Coney Island at the end of his service, he discovered a passion for learning and would frequent places where books were offered or thrown out. When finished, he would donate the books to places he knew could use them.

Well-read and incisive, Cohen worked as a taxi-cab driver for more than 25 years. He was known for the conversations he had with passengers, using the short time he shared with them to ask questions about their lives.

A friend once told The New York Times about the instance when Cohen picked up former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and proceeded to inquire about his career and personal politics without a filter.

Cohen spent his final days at Coney Island Hospital.

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