Cohen grew up on Long Island. His mother was a nurse and his father was a surgeon who escaped a Nazi concentration camp with his family during World War II. He attended American University followed by law school and said he got his first taste of politics when he was a boy. A neighbor of his parents' invited him to walk precincts with New York Mayor John Lindsay in Atlantic Beach, Queens and Brooklyn.
Like Trump, Cohen has donated money to both Democratic and Republican candidates over the years, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He's hobnobbed with Hillary Clinton and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Cohen said he and Kennedy even once went sailing near the Kennedy Compound in Cape Cod and later shared a lobster and clambake.
After law school, Cohen went on to work at a personal-injury malpractice law firm in New York and later became a partner at the firm Phillips Nizer. He joined the Trump Organization in 2006 at Trump's invitation. He's married and has two children.
Cohen said he sees no conflict in his advocacy for Trump now and his past support for Obama. He said his concerns are three-fold: the "unsustainable" debt, the country's "ongoing and continuous" loss of jobs and the "basic overall lack of respect" that the rest of the world has for the U.S.
"I'm prepared to put the fact that I voted for Obama to the side," he said. I'm more concerned now about my children, future grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and everybody's children and families. I'm more concerned about them than I am about party affiliation."