A reader tipped me off today’s Jewish Marksman, Lawrence “Larry” Cohen, September 17, 1943 – August 2, 2010. A veterinarian in Colorado, “Dr. Larry” as he was known was very active in the firearms community, as discussed in his memorial tribute page
While in Southern California he was instrumental in founding the Single Action Shooting Society that popularized old-west cowboy competitive shooting scenarios. SASS is now an international organization with nearly 100, 000 members. He served on the organizations’ “Wild Bunch” from 1987-1992 and placed as World Champion Shootist in both 1991 and 2001. An article about the “Durango Kid” appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 1994. He won numerous shooting awards through the years including Colorado Mounted (on horse-back) Champion in 1998. Cohen was featured on the Starz Western Channel for an entire month in 2003 for his participation with the “Happy Rails” shootout held in Durango. He had a passion for the outdoors and loved the Rocky Mountains and living in Southwest Colorado. He and his quarter horse “Rebel” were regulars in the Cowboy Parades, mock train robberies with the D&SNGRR and he even rode Rebel inside and right up to the bar at Handlebars Saloon in Silverton. (At the owner’s request, of course.) In recent years, Cohen also competed in 3-gun sniper style shooting events and pistol shooting competitions all around the region. He had also helped organize and coordinate the regional police departments’ annual SASSO shoot.
Thanks again to reader Brad_in_MA, and I encourage everyone to send me leads on Jewish Marksmen!
I recently heard that several major US firearms manufacturers have significant Jewish leadership. I have only been able to verify Colt. If the readers can verify Sig Sauer and Kimber, that would be great! Also please share any others you know of!
1. Colt’s Manufacturing Company – according to an article on Maine Antique Digest:
In 1994 Colt’s Manufacturing Company was purchased by Zilkha & Company of New York City for $12 million. Donald Zilkha, then 42, was and remains company president. Three years after buying Colt, he unsuccessfully tried to buy FN Herstal, as mentioned above, for $82 million. It would have given him control of Winchester, Browning, and Colt.
Where did this young guy get that kind of money? He was born right. He is the son of Azouri “Ezra” Zilkha, “a scion of a Babylonian Jewish banking family,” according to a 2001 article in Traders Magazine. The New York Times in 1999 described the Zilkha family as “one of Iraq’s richest banking dynasties.” The family left Iraq after the Second World War and successfully reestablished itself in the U.S.
The family patriarch, Khedouri (or Khadouri) Zilkha (1884-1956), launched banks throughout the Middle East. His son Ezra, now 82, self-published his memoir in the 1999 book From Baghdad to Boardrooms: My Family’s Odyssey. It’s available in some used bookstores.
I found some other articles on Zilkha:
2. Sig Sauer – The President and CEO is named Ron Cohen, and my “sources” tell me he is Jewish, but I have not been able to verify this. If you can do so, please drop me a line.
3. Kimber – Again, my “sources” and various Internet web sites (some anti-Semitic) claim the owners/operators are Jewish, but again I have not been able to verify and need help from the readers.
Of these three, I can only comment on Sig Sauer, having owned one of their semi-auto pistols, a 9mm P228. I sold it to finance other guns, and sometimes regret it. It was a great semi-auto that was my first gun, and for many years my only gun, until I discovered revolvers. I only put a few hundred rounds through it, but it actually never malfunctioned. If I was forced to rely on a semi-auto, I would go with a Sig without reservation. Kimber has a decent reputation, Colt not so much, but that is all I know about them.
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