Leonard J. Cooper, 85, one of the city’s preeminent trusts and estates lawyers and a lifelong Philadelphian, died peacefully at his Laverock home, surrounded by his beloved family, on September 27, 2023.
Len is survived by his wife, Wendy Fein Cooper (his beloved “Butzie”), his children Benjamin Cooper, Regan Cooper, and Ian “Kobi” Cooper; his daughters-in-law Cherylle Corpuz and Michelle Cooper; his seven grandchildren, Noah Cooper, Nathaniel Cooper, Adam Cooper, Rafaella Cooper, Ariella Cooper, Liora Cooper, and Ziva Cooper Corpuz, who knew him affectionately as “Poppi”; and his brother and sister-in-law Albert and Phyllis Cooper.
Len was born and raised in the Olney section of Philadelphia by his father Meyer and his mother Minnie. He graduated from Central High School and went to the University of Pennsylvania. Always a star student, he earned Phi Beta Kappa in his Junior year at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Penn magna cum laude in 1959 and then followed in the footsteps of his father by attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he graduated in 1961 magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Herbert Cohen of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He also received his LL.M. in Tax from Temple University Law School in 1964.
During his illustrious 60-year career, Len was one of the city’s top trusts and estates lawyers. After his clerkship, he joined the law firm Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen and worked there until the firm dissolved in 2009, a remarkable run during an era when so many lawyers change firms. He then worked at Cozen O’Connor until 2021. He was an elected fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel and was perennially named one of the Best Lawyers in America.
Len was an advocate for peace and justice with a long history of charitable work. He served as President of the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Philadelphia and secretary of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition. He also provided dedicated service to Woodrock, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that promotes interracial, inter-ethnic, and inter-cultural harmony among youth, serving as President for 10 years (the organization’s longest serving president) and then as a member of the Board. He is an active member of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park.
Len was an avid tennis player, baseball fan, Broadway and Philadelphia Orchestra afficionado, and pianist. He also traveled frequently to see his family in Jerusalem, Memphis, Tennessee, and Medellin, Colombia.
Relatives and friends are invited to services, Thursday, September 28, 11 a.m. at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, 7763 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA. Interment to follow at Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown.