HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Richard Cohen

Authority on Living with Chronic Illness


  • Strong at the Broken Places: Living with Chronic Disease
  • Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness
  • Living with Multiple Sclerosis


New York

Richard M. Cohen is an award-winning broadcast journalist and author of the New York Times best-sellers Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, A Chorus of Hope and Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness. Strong at the Broken Places chronicles a year in the lives of five diverse individuals with chronic illnesses, offering an honest and inspirational perspective on life with incurable disease. Blindsided is his memoir of coping with serious chronic illness in which he describes his lifelong struggle with multiple sclerosis, his first bout with colon cancer, a loving marriage to Meredith Viera, the effect of illness on raising children, and the nature of denial and resilience, all told with grace and humor. He speaks frequently about coping with chronic illness with humor, grace, and courage.

Cohen’s books follow his 25-year career as a network television news producer.  

He began his career at the ABC News Washington Bureau in 1971 as the assistant producer of Issues and Answers and associate producer of Watergate coverage. He later joined The MacNeil/Lehrer Report on public television. Cohen was a producer on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, serving as Dan Rather’s producer when Rather assumed the anchor chair in 1981.  

At CBS News, Cohen covered the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland and wars in the Middle East and Central America and went on to assume the position of senior producer of politics, managing CBS News coverage of the 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. Cohen traveled to China with President Reagan in 1984.

Cohen went back to PBS in 1989, joining Bill Moyers to produce and direct Illusions of News, an award-winning documentary about the press. Cohen joined CNN in 1992, covering the election of Bill Clinton and producing the award-winning documentary, Bill Clinton of Arkansas.

In 1970, Cohen earned his BA from Simpson College and in 1976, an MS in journalism from Columbia University. In 1985, Cohen was honored as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. In 2005, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Simpson College.

Cohen has won numerous awards in journalism, including three Emmys and a John Foster Peabody. He lives in New York City with his wife, Today Show host Meredith Vieira, and their three children.


Praise for Strong at the Broken Places

“There is a unique power in the truth. This is a book of truth, written with unflinching honesty, about how we can ultimately prevail despite the most trying circumstances. Richard Cohen, by bringing us into the intimate lives of these seemingly ordinary, but truly extraordinary people, shows us the core of resilience and the remarkable beauty of the human spirit.”
—Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School, author of How Doctors Think

“For a long time, my toughest foe was the man standing opposite me on a cream colored cotton canvas. Today, the fight of my life is with an incurable disease – the toughest of foes. Striking back at illness is a common struggle for millions of us – more than most people are aware. Strong at the Broken Places is a book for America because it tells the real life stories of real people coping with devastating conditions who fight hard everyday to overcome. They are the winners.”
—Muhammad Ali

Strong at the Broken Places opens our minds and hearts to the harsh realities experienced by people living every minute with chronic, debilitating illnesses. In sharp detail, these stories express the strength of the human spirit in the face of crushing adversity. They serve as a lesson, teaching us the values of compassion and acceptance and reminding us that despite any hardship, the soul can prevail.”
—Rosalynn Carter

—Larry King

“The strength of these profiles derives from Cohen’s focus on chronic illnesses that, as he notes, are not “sexy” and generally “do not resolve themselves”... these are stories dense with quotidian details.”
Washington Post

“This unusual book gives a voice to the voiceless – the chronically disabled who, in our health-conscious society, are defined by their disease… In this advocacy book, written like a personal journal, Cohen tells their stories... Strong at the Broken Places ends on a note of hope.”
Providence Journal

Praise for Blindsided

“Cohen may be ‘legally blind’ but his book paints an incredibly sharp picture of what it is like to live passionately – with joy, love, and anger – when besieged by chronic illnesses.”
—Dr. Harold Varmus, President, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Former Director, National Institutes of Health

“Richard Cohen has written a brutally honest and compelling account of living with devastating illness for more than 30 years. A disturbing and profoundly moving chronicle of one family’s struggle to survive.”
—Christopher Reeve

Blindsided is beautifully written and utterly honest. May we all be so brave and caring in our families.”
—Tom Brokaw

 “[A] powerful memoir, tough in the way Cohen’s old news bosses would have wanted it to be tough.”
New York Times Book Review

“...a warm, sarcastic, unflinching dissection of love, pain, laughter and wounded pride.”
Chicago Tribune

“Eloquent and brutally honest.”
Seattle Times