Leslie Cohen was raised by her single mother after her father was killed in a car accident when she was eleven. She learned from an early age to be self-reliant and to navigate life in unconventional ways. She left high school after the tenth grade to accept early enrollment at Emory University. Deciding that she preferred a larger university setting, she transferred first to University of Georgia at Athens and two years later to Georgia State University in Atlanta. Leslie left college after four years to start a printing business with her future husband, Jeff.
Career and Family
That first business was very challenging, but Leslie didn’t let early adversity stop her from embarking on a second venture with her husband, this time a successful commercial graphics firm. The couple designed collateral advertising for Fortune 500 companies for twelve years before transitioning their business to fine art in 2002. Leslie’s paintings are in collections across the globe.
While running a successful business and raising a family Leslie still found time to volunteer in her community and to work on issues she cared for. It was important for her to teach her children that each of us has a responsibility to help those around them and to stand up for their beliefs.
Coming To Wilmington
In 2013, after her two children each moved from the family’s suburban Atlanta home, Leslie moved to Wilmington with her husband of 32 years, Jeff. The family has long ties to the area as Jeff’s grandfather built a summer home in Carolina Beach in 1933. That cottage is still the family summer gathering place.
Leslie became involved in local issues here when the passage of HB2 threatened the rights of their adult children. Her activism quickly spread into other issues as she became aware of the the struggles of others in her community.
Running for Office
Leslie will bring her bold entrepreneurial spirit, her creative problem solving, her passion for justice and equality, and her compassion for others to the North Carolina General Assembly in order to fight to make the lives of North Carolinians better.