Culver City Observer -

Culver City Needs To Be Thankful For Mike Cohen


November 26, 2015

By Steve Finley

Culver City has a lot to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving week. It has a great school system, beautiful tree-lined neighborhoods, safe parks, an upscale mall, attractive shopping centers and Mike Cohen.

Cohen, who is affectionately called Mr. Culver City, has earned that nickname through hard work and dedication to the city. He retired last year as the Sports Editor of the Culver City News and as one of the city’s top real estate agents. Although he officially retired he continues to do whatever it takes to help the city he loves.

Cohen, who was born and raised in Culver City, attended three elementary schools, Farragut, La Ballona and El Marino. “At that time I was enrolled in one school across town, then another school would open closer to my home,” said Cohen. “That’s why I attended three elementary schools.”

Cohen, 59, still keeps in touch with some of his old teachers and friends from his elementary days. “I grew up with all of the people in Culver City,” he said. “It’s a great community. These are all of my friends. This is one big family. It is so great to be part of this great community and it’s nice to be wanted. I am very grateful to be a part of this community.”

At the peak of Cohen’s involvement in Culver City he needed at least three closets in his home to store all the hats that he wore. One day he would be at Veteran’s Park playing softball, paddle tennis, basketball, volleyball, tennis and swimming. The next minute he would change his clothes and put on a tuxedo and be the Master of Ceremonies at an event inside the Veteran’s Auditorium. He became one of the best paddle tennis players in Southern California.

One day he would be up on the hill coaching a little league team and that night you could hear him delivering play by play analysis of the Culver City High School football or basketball game.

The next day you could find him hard at work at the La Ballona Festival. That is one of the city’s biggest events and Cohen served on several committees that supported the Festival. There is not enough space in this article to list all things Cohen did and continues to do for Culver City.

“I had so much fun it was almost like not working,” said Cohen.

As a young adult Cohen starting working for the Culver City Parks Department as a recreation leader and continued that job for 18 years. “I was able to create classes and programs that are still going on today,” Cohen said. “I really enjoyed that job.”

After his career in the recreation department was over he decided to try real estate and during that same time he became Sports Editor of the Culver City News. “During my early real estate career I refused to sell any houses outside of Culver City and the other agents at my office started calling me Mr. Culver City, that’s how I got my nickname,” said Cohen with a smile.

Cohen realized he was interested in journalism when he covered a basketball game between Culver City and Inglewood for the high school paper. “I enjoyed that game so much that made me think that I might have a future in journalism,” he said.

In high school his main sport was tennis. “I was the number one player on the team but we were not very good,” said Cohen. “One time we played Beverly Hills and they sent their seventh grade team to play us. The girl that beat me went on to play professional tennis so that made me feel better.”

Cohen likes to stay in the background but his work in the community always keeps the spotlight on him. “I think I do my best work if no one knows who I am,” said Cohen “I like to work behind the scenes to make everyone else look good.”

That’s Mike Cohen, always thinking of other people. Now it’s time for Culver City to think of Cohen and name a park after him or put a stature in his honor in front of the Veteran’s Auditorium. That’s the least they can do for the man they call Mr. Culver City.


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