Marshall Cohen was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 10, 1910, son of Wolf P. and Ida Bertha Cohen. He was graduated from the University of Chicago, Bachelor of Science degree, and in 1935 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine from Rush Medical College of that University. Commissioned Lieutenant (jg) in the Medical Corps of the US navy on January 4, 1937, he was promoted to Lieutenant in April 1941; Lieutenant Commander in November 1942; Commander in January 1944; and Captain, to date from July 1, 1954.
Beginning active service on January 15, 1937, he served as Assistant Medical Officer at the Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, New York until September of that year, and for six months thereafter was a student at the Naval Medical School, Washington, DC. In March 1938 he reported to the Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was Assistant Medial Officer, and from September of that year until January 1940 and similar duty at the Naval Dispensary, New London, Connecticut. A month later he joined the 4th Defense Battalion, US Marine Corps, and was serving as Assistant Medical Officer of that Battalion at Pearl Harbor, T.H., when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Fleet there on December 7, 1941.
Returning to the United States in September 1942, he was ordered to the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he was on duty until October 1944. He then attended the Command and Staff School at Quantico, Virginia, after which he served from March to September 1945 as Assistant Medical Officer of the USS Crescent City (APA-21), participating in the Okinawa Campaign in the Pacific War Area. As such he is entitled to the Ribbon for the Navy Unit Commendation to the vessel for heroic service during the World War II period.
As senior Medical Officer of the USS Noble (APA-218) he took part in the occupation operations in the Asiatic-Pacific Area during the period September 1945 to December 1945, then returned to the United States. In February 1946 he was detached with orders to Joint Task Force One (Operation Crossroads) for duty as Senior Assistant Medical, Damage Control Safety. From October 1946 until September 1949 he service in a similar capacity at the Naval Dispensary, at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois.
Eight months of instruction in the Medical Aspect, Atomic Energy, at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, proceeded his assignment as the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Projects Officer at the Navy’s Research and Development Laboratory, San Francisco Naval Shipyard, from June 1950 until February 1952. He then reported for duty as Senior Assistant Medical Officer at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, and after two years there was ordered to the US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan, for duty.
Under orders of March 12, 1956, he returned from Japan to serve at the Naval Gun Factory (now Naval Weapons Plant), Washington, DC, as Senior Assistant Medical Officer.
In addition to the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Captain Cohen has the American Defense Service Medal, Base Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp; China Service Medal (extended); and the National Defense Service Medal.