Nuclear physicist Sam Cohen died Sunday at age 89, the Washington Post reported in an obituary today. Cohen, a veteran of the Manhattan Project, conceived, designed and advocated development of the neutron bomb, a high-radiation anti-personnel weapon.
He cordially despised the Federation of American Scientists, which didn’t stop him from writing and calling us regularly to discuss his bodily ailments, the history of nuclear weapons, classification policy, and whether or not former Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary was the devil’s spawn.
In 2000, Sam Cohen authored and self-published a book called “Shame.” It is an almost unbearably candid memoir of the author’s abusive childhood, which left him deeply scarred, and a description of how his views of nuclear weapons emerged as a result. It is a neglected classic. We reviewed it here. Rest in peace.