Older Press Releases

JANET LANGHART COHEN, FORMER  ”FIRST LADY OF THE PENTAGON” HONORED FOR HER SUCCESS AS A BROADCAST JOURNALIST AND HER HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS.

Janet Langhart Cohen was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame for her contributions as an Emmy nominated broadcast journalist and her contributions to our country.

Langhart Cohen is a native of Indianapolis, where she grew up in a segregated housing project and later became the first Black woman in America to host a nationally syndicated show, “Good Morning.” Her induction salutes not only her excellence in the field of broadcast journalism but also shines a light on how far we have come as a nation.

Janet Langhart Cohen began her stellar broadcasting career at Channel 26 and then WBBM-TV (CBS) in Chicago, while simultaneous hosting her own award winning show “Indy Today” at WISH-TV. She came to national attention while on ABC and NBC network television, Entertainment Tonight, BET and the Armed Forces Network. She became known for her insightful and provocative interviews with newsmakers, celebrities and world figures.



In his final state of the union address President Bill Clinton praised Langhart Cohen for her efforts in maintaining the morale and well-being of our men and women in uniform and their families.  She established the Citizen Patriot Award, The First Military Families Forum, and created and produced an annual musical salute to our military called, "The Pentagon Pops."

 

Langhart Cohen is also an author and playwright. Her stage play “Anne & Emmett” received critical acclaim for its Washington, DC production last year.  It has also received rave reviews around the world since its theatrical introduction in 2008, from Jerusalem to Boston, Baltimore, Chicago and more. The play opens in St. Louis this month as a production of the Black Repertory Company and plans for New York are underway.  The play offers an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank, the iconic teen victim of Nazi genocide and Emmett Till, the black youth murdered in Jim Crow South for whistling at a white woman and whose death ignited the modern-day civil rights movement.

Langhart Cohen authored two books that address important social and political issues of today.  They are “From Rage to Reason” and “Love in Black and White,” the latter co-authored with her husband, the former secretary of defense William S. Cohen, a world-class love story about the joys and trials of interracial love in America.  Of her induction into the Indiana Broadcaster Hall of Fame, Mrs. Cohen says, “I am so very honored to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. This tribute is a reflection of all the many opportunities this great country has given me during my career.”

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH TO PERFORM A THEATRICAL READING OF JANET LANGHART'S FIRST PLAY " ANNE AND EMMETT" ON MARCH 11, 2012, IN NEW YORK CITY.

Tony nominated actress Anna Deavere Smith will do a theatrical reading of Janet Langhart Cohen’s play, “Anne & Emmett,”  an imaginary conversation between Anne Frank and Emmett Till, in New York on March 11. The evening, hosted by Henry Kissinger and Vernon Jordan and featuring a conversation with the playwright, supports the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, due to open in 2015.  For information, visit www.anneandemmett.com.

In the one-act play, Frank recounts her experience in the Holocaust, and Till his tragic tale of racial hatred and violence in the American South.  They then share in the search for reconciliation and hope in this unforgettable work.

Langhart Cohen said, “I wrote the play as a call to action to eradicate racism and anti-Semitism. Anne and Emmett, two very different teenagers, lived in societies that couldn’t protect them because of hatred and the inaction of silent witnesses.  While the hate that took their lives still lives, this play reminds us to act and to remember.”

This the first play from Janet Langhart Cohen, Emmy-winning journalist, author, and former “First Lady of the Pentagon” when her husband, William S. Cohen served as Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration.  The script was heard first in a reading by students in Israel, and its subsequent Washington, DC premiere drew a crowd that included Joe Biden, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, and Michael Douglas.  It has since played in numerous cities from Denver  to Jerusalem, Boston to Topeka, with the most recent production staged by the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre.