Australian entrepreneur and community leader Ben Cowen dies in gliding accident

Henry Benjamin

SYDNEY (JTA) — Australian entrepreneur and community leader Ben Cowen died in a paragliding accident while on vacation with his family.

Cowen, the youngest child of former governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, crashed after being caught in strong winds on Sunday afternoon. He was 50.

Cowen was known as a keen adventurer and founded the Anaconda chain of camping and outdoor megastores which he sold before becoming an investment advisor.

He sold out the chain in the late 2000s and founded Edison Partners, a boutique advisory firm, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions.

He had also worked as a lawyer and investment banker.

His brother Rabbi Shimon Cowen told Australian media: “He had a very bold spirit. He was an outdoorsman, who took his family camping, planning very elaborate trips.”

His late father Sir Zelman Cowen was knighted in 1976 and shortly afterwards became Australia’s second Jewish Governor-General. He died in 2011.

Ben Cowen was involved in the United Israel Appeal, the Victorian Jewish Community Security Group and the King David School in Melbourne.

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