The Day Sam Cohn Called Me

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sam CohnIt was with great sadness that I read about the death of the legendary super-agent Sam Cohn.  I had very few encounters with the man, but the first one was memorable.

It was 1993 and working at the PR firm Dennis Davidson Associates in New York, when I got the call.  “I have Sam Cohn on the line,” said the voice.  “Can you hold for him?”  “Absolutely,” I said.  While I was waiting, I tried to imagine why an important man like Sam Cohn would want to talk to me.

The voice came back.  “It might be a while,” she said, extremely politely.  “Would you mind staying on the line?”   Was she kidding?   For a chance to talk to a legend like Sam Cohn?

The voice came back.  “I’m really sorry,” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“Um, he’s not here.”

It took a little while for this to sink in.

“Are you saying that Sam Cohn called me and he’s not there?”

There was a long pause.



“I’m very  sorry.”

This was something new. Imagine!  Sam Cohn could call people without having to be there.

“Don’t worry about it at all,” I said, and it was over.

I sat for a while thinking about what had just happened.

“Now that’s power,” I thought.