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Rose Gollup Cohen

Through her moving 1918 autobiography, Out of the Shadow, Rose Gollup Cohen offered a vivid account of her life as an immigrant Jewish woman in the sweatshops of New York. Cohen immigrated in 1892 and worked in garment factories, eventually joining a union. She left factory work and briefly became a domestic servant before falling ill. Her health problems brought her into the orbit of the well-known nurse and settlement worker Lillian D. Wald, who referred her in 1897 to a cooperative shirtwaist factory run by Leonora O’Reilly. While the factory was short-lived, when O’Reilly began teaching at the Manhattan Trade School for Girls in 1902, she made Cohen her teaching assistant. Cohen also found work at a summer camp in Connecticut for poor children from New York’s Lower East Side. After marrying and having a daughter, Cohen stopped working and took classes at the Rand School, where she studied with the Russian Jewish novelist Joseph Gollomb. Cohen published several short stories between 1918–1922. Her autobiography was praised by the New York Times and translated into French and Russian. While historians are reasonably sure she died at age 45, no obituary remains to confirm the date or cause of her death.

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Rose Gollup Cohen
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Rose Gollup Cohen's groundbreaking 1918 autobiography, Out of the Shadow, made her a literary celebrity. It painted a moving picture of a Russian Jewish woman's journey from persecution in her homeland to the garment sweatshops of New York's Lower East Side.

Institution: Private collection.

Date of Birth
April 4, 1880
Place of Birth
Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Gollup Cohen." (Viewed on December 14, 2018) <>.


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