Amherst Magazine

R. John Cooper III '64

Deceased June 11, 2014

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In Memory

Russell John Cooper III died June 11, 2014, after a joyous voyage through life. He was born in 1942 in East Orange, N.J., to Cynthia and Russell Cooper Jr. and grew up in Caldwell and Essex Fells, N.J.

John “Coop” loved going to school. After Amherst he earned a master’s degree from the University of Oslo, a law degree from Harvard Law School and a doctorate in English literature from Drew University. Until shortly before his death he continued to attend classes and teach in various capacities.

John practiced law in New York for more than 30 years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Casey, Lane & Mittendorf. In the early 1980s he joined Time Inc. and in 1984 he became the executive vice president and general counsel of Young & Rubicam. He joined Havas Advertising of Paris in 1989 as executive vice president and general counsel for North America.

After retirement John turned his attention to civic and charitable activities, in particular as choir member, treasurer, junior warden and senior warden at Christ Church Short Hills. John was also president of Interweave in Summit, N.J. He was a dedicated supporter of Amherst and served as head of planned giving for his 50th reunion. Coop’s family is very close friends with Tony Mason ’64, Steve Downs ’64, Smokey Stover ’64 and Harry Knight ’64 and their families. His constant jokes, witty comments and penetrating mind made him entertaining, challenging and stimulating.

John is survived by Unni L. Cooper, his beloved wife and high school sweetheart. They resided for most of their married lives in Short Hills, N.J., and Boothbay Harbor, Maine. They have two children, Kirsten Cooper Poler ’88 and Russell John Cooper IV ’99, and four grandchildren. Kirsten is completing her term as president of the Society of the Alumni.

Smokey Stover ’64
Steve Downs ’64

 

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