Daniel Howard Cohen, an educator who grew up in Baltimore and went from being an outlaw leftist to running the photography program at one of the nation's most prestigious journalism schools, died Wednesday of complications from AIDS. He was 45.
Mr. Cohen, who became a free-lance writer and photographer, spent his teen-age years in Baltimore before joining the leftist Weathermen group in the 1960s. He went underground for several years while he was wanted by the law.
In recent years, he contributed to such national publications as Smithsonian magazine, Historic Preservation, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and the New York Times Magazine.
From 1987 until his death at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan, he was director of the photography program at Columbia University's graduate school of journalism.
"Everyone Daniel touched was affected by him," said his father, Sidney Cohen, who lives in the Mount Washington section of Baltimore with his wife, Sylvia. "They became personally involved with him. The people he worked with. The people in the neighborhood. He made an impression on their lives."
After attending Pimlico Middle School and graduating in 1967 from City College, where he was an editor of the school magazine, Mr. Cohen enrolled at the University of Chicago. With a keen interest in social and political issues, he joined the Weathermen, a radical offshoot of the leftist Students for a Democratic Society.
In 1969, Mr. Cohen was arrested during a protest outside the Chicago courthouse where Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin were being held. With charges of battery pending against him after a brief scuffle with police, Mr. Cohen fled and stayed underground for several years with other members of the Weathermen.
Mr. Cohen became a Baltimore celebrity of sorts, profiled by The Sun as a hometown outlaw. In 1976, he surrendered and received two years' probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges.
He headed west and graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. In 1981, he received his master's degree in journalism from Columbia.
Two years later, he joined the faculty at Columbia, teaching as an assistant in the photojournalism department while writing a variety of articles for magazines.
Within six years of graduating from Columbia, he became director of the photography program. He lived in Hoboken, N.J.
A memorial service was being planned in New York.
In addition to his parents, his survivors are a brother, Paul Cohen of San Francisco; two sisters, Sandra Lee Cohen Crute of Baltimore and Laura Cohen Hewitt of New York City; and two nephews.