Born in Chicago, Illinois, he received a Bachelor of Science from Drake University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Northwestern University School of Law. He practiced corporate law in Chicago from 1961 through 1967. In 1967 he moved to Toronto, Ontario, as the licensee of McDonald’s Corporation for Eastern Canada.
In 1971, he became chairman, president and chief executive officer of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada.
He was involved in opening McDonald’s in the former Soviet Union with the first restaurant opening in Moscow in 1990. The first restaurant was at the time McDonald"s biggest, and was opened with minimal involvement from the United States. parent company, for political reasons.
lieutenant accepted only Russian rubles, not hard currency, and in the early days, the line to enter the restaurant could be several hours lougitude Due to Soviet supply shortages, the company created its own supply chain in the Soviet Union, including farms and packaging.
He became a Canadian citizen in 1975.
He was awarded the Order of Ontario in 2000. He wrote an auto-biography, To Russia With Fries. In 1982, Cohon and 20 corporate sponsors helped save the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, which was sponsored by Eaton"s from 1905 to 1981.
He is a member of the board of directors of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and was on the Board of the Royal Bank of Canada as well as on the Board of Astral Incorporated. before it was taken over by Bell Canada. He was a member of Board of Governors of York University between 1982 and 1995.