Leonard Cohen (81)

21 September 1934, Montréal, Québec, Canada
5' 8½" (1,74 m)

is a Canadian Juno Award-winning[1] singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist. His work often explores religion, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships.[2] Cohen has been inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011 Cohen received a Prince of Asturias Award for literature.

Trade Mark 
His distinctive singing voice, which has become significantly deeper over time

Often writes about religious or political themes


Son Adam Cohen released self-titled debut album (1998).

Was engaged to Rebecca De Mornay.

Spent part of the late 1990s living in a Buddhist monastery in California.

The student of Zen Master, Sasaki Roshi.

His Zen name is Jikan, which means "Silent One".

His "Greatest Hits" collection was voted the most depressing album ever, the vote made by a British magazine.

Mentioned by name in the Nirvana song "Pennyroyal Tea". Kurt Cobain was a great fan of his.

Is mentioned by name in the Mercury Rev song "A Drop In Time".

Is in the same branch Of Buddhism as Peter Matthiessen, Michael O'Keefe, Gary Snyder,Peter Coyote, Bernie Glassman, Reb Anderson, Philip Whalen, Richard Baker, Pat O'Hara (Enkyo O'Hara), Soen Roshi and John Daido Loori.

Has two children with his ex-girlfriend, Suzanne Elrod. Son, Adam Cohen, born 1972; and daughter, Lorca Cohen, born 1974.

He was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) on April 19, 1991 and the C.C. (Companion of the Order of Canada) on October 10, 2002 for his services to music.

During the 1990s, he became a monk in California in a quest for spirituality.

Is of Polish and Lithuanian Jewish Descent. His family claim to be descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses.

Judy Collins is generally credited with discovering Cohen, having been the very first artist to record his "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" for her album "In My Life" (1966).

He was 32 years old when he released his first album.

Los Angeles, California [June 2007]

Personal Quotes 
I didn't want to write for pay. I wanted to be paid for what I write.

The sole indiscretion in my professional life. - 1994 BBC radio interview detailing his regret on revealing Janis Joplin's name, for whom he'd written, "Chelsea Hotel No. 2

I always considered myself a minor writer. My province is small, and I try to explore it very, very thoroughly.

We used to play music for fun. Much more than now. Now nobody picks up a guitar unless they're paid for it.

My songs last about 30 years - that's about the lifespan of a Volvo. But they're designed to last as long as possible. My own critical examination of the songs is very severe: if it can survive examination by the heart, the mind and the gut, then I think the song can last a little while.

I never really liked poetry readings; I liked to read poetry by myself, but I liked singing, chanting my lyrics to this jazz group. It felt a lot easier. (On his metamorphosis from poet to musician)

There is no difference between a poem and a song. Some were songs first, and some were poems first and some were simultaneous. All of my writing has guitars behind it, even the novels.

I had wonderful love, but I did not give back wonderful love. I was unable to reply to their love. Because I was obsessed with some fictional sense of separation, I couldn't touch the thing that was offered me, and it was offered me everywhere.

I like the life on the road because it is so regulated and deliberate. Everything funnels down to the concert. You know exactly what to do during the day and you don't have to improvise.

[on his plan, as he turns eighty, to resume smoking] I'm really looking forward to this moment. A young nurse in a white uniform, white lisle stockings, carrying a pack of cigarettes on a silver tray will walk across the stage..and the pack will be opened. It will be gleaming like the pillars of the Parthenon. And she'll light me up. It's going to be good.

Before the pesky little problem of losing everything I had, I had the feeling I was treading water - kind of between jobs. A bit at loose ends. When the money problem arose, what bothered me most was that I was spending all my time with lawyers, accountants, forensic accountants.. I thought, if God wants to bore me to death I guess I have to accept it.