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octavus roy co hen

Octavus Roy Cohen

[koh-uhn]
Octavus Roy Cohen (1891-1959) was an American author, born in South Carolina where he received his secondary education at the Porter Military Academy, now the exclusive Porter-Gaud School. He went on to receive a college education at the Clemson University. Between 1910 and 1912 he worked in the editorial departments of the Birmingham Ledger, the Charleston News and Courier, the Bayonne Times, and the Newark Morning Star. He became popular as a result of his stories printed in the Saturday Evening Post which concerned themselves with the adventures of the Southern Negro. If his people seemed to possess the usual mythical Negro qualities of drollery and miscomprehensions, his tales at any rate were spirited. In 1913, he was admitted to the South Carolina bar and practiced law in Charleston for two years. Between 1917 and his death he published 56 books, works that included humorous and detective novels, plays, and collections of short stories. He also composed successful Broadway plays and radio, film, and television scripts. He wrote:

  • Polished Ebony (1919)
  • Gray Dusk (1920)
  • Come Seven (1920)
  • Highly Colored (1921)
  • Midnight (1922)

He pronounced his first name oc-tav'us, a as in have. (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

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