COHEN, SIMON (Sam; 1890–1977). South-West African businessman who was known as the "uncrowned king of South-West Africa" by reason of his extensive commercial and financial interests. Born in Russia and educated in London, he went to South Africa as a child with his father. In 1906 he went to Swakopmund, in South-West Africa (then a German colony), to run his father's store. After the South African occupation of the territory he settled, in 1916, in the capital, Windhoek, where he built up a large business organization, comprising commercial, industrial, agricultural, mining, transport, and fishing concerns, which spread to South Africa, Rhodesia, and other neighboring countries. His energy and enterprise played a pioneering role in furthering the economic development of South-West Africa, a mandated territory under South African control. Cohen was an honorary life president of the Windhoek Hebrew Congregation.
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