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sketch picture of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Actor / Musician / writer / Voice actor

Leonard Cohen was born in 1934 to a middle-class Jewish family in Montreal, Canada. His father, a dressmaker, died when he was nine. When he was 13, he picked up the guitar for the first time in an attempt to impress a girl, but after a year or two, he started singing his own songs at the local coffee shop. Later, Cohen studied English at McGill University. At the age of 17, he formed a three piece Western country band called the Buckskin Boys, and he began writing poetry. When the first book of poetry was published in 1956, Cohen was an undergraduate.

Cohen, who signed with Columbia records, released his debut album, The Songs of Leonard Cohen, in early 1968, despite its simplicity and, perhaps, its depressing content, it was a hit in the days when ballads were popular and songwriters were just beginning to take off, and thousands of college students bought it. Songs like Suzanne, Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye, So Long, Marianne and Sisters of Mercy have made Cohen, now 34, a pop icon.