CHP-131-Morris Two-Gun Cohen Part 2

We’re going to finish off the last 45 years of Morris Two-Gun Cohen’s life in this extra-long episode. With Sun Yat-sen now gone, Morris Cohen worked hard to reinvent himself and remain relevant in the world of the Chinese business and politics. Morris will hit some highs and lows in this episode as he tried to leverage his past association with Sun and his obvious loyalty to the KMT into an ongoing and lucrative career. As you’ll see in this episode, the road was hardly a smooth one.


Song Ailing 宋蔼龄 Eldest Song sister, married to H.H. Kung

Song Qingling 宋庆龄 Madame Sun Yat-sen, lifelong benefactor to Morris Cohen

H.H. Kung 孔祥熙 Husband of Song Ailing. Lifetime KMT stalwart. Economic and Finance guru for the party in the 30’s and 40’s.

Sheng-Gang Dabagong 省港大罢工  The Guangzhou Hong Kong Strike

T.V. Soong 宋子文 Brother of Soong Sisters. One of the biggest heavyweights of the late Republican era

Eugene Chen Youren 陈友仁 Eugene Chen Known as Sun Yat-sen’s foreign minister

Song Meiling 宋美龄 Madame Chiang Kai-shek

Sun Fo 孙佛 Son of Sun Yat-sen, also known as Sun Ke 孙科

Hu Hanmin 胡汉民 Close ally of Sun Yat-sen, first supporter, then lifetime political foe of Chiang Kai-shek

C.C. Wu 伍朝樞 Chiang Kai-shek’s foreign minister and later a minister to the US.  Son of Wu Tingfang

Wu Tingfang 伍廷芳 Official during last years of Qing. Later a top diplomat in the Nationalist government

Wellington Koo 顾维钧 Longtime diplomat and KMT stalwart

Li Jishen 李济深 Military strongman based in Guangzhou. Had a falling out with Chiang Kai-shek and stayed in China after 1949

Chen Jitang 陈济棠 Governed Guangdong province from 1929-1936. Another of Morris’s paymasters

Nan Tianwang 南天王 Celestial King of the South, Chen Jitang’s nickname down in Guangdong

Wu Tiecheng 武铁成 Another KMT heavy.  Served as mayor of Shanghai and later high up in the post 1949 KMT. Another paymaster to Morris

Xianbing Dui 宪兵队 The dreaded Japanese Kempeitai

Shuangqiang Ma Kun 双枪马坤 Two-Gun Morris Cohen


  • I have enjoyed your podcasts, but the series on Morris Cohen has stirred a memory for me. When I was very young, probably in the summer of 1943 when I was 5 years old in Toronto, I remember being in Queen’s Park with my mother. I remember seeing two men, one Chinese, one white, talking to each other in Chinese. My mother was talking to me in Yiddish and to my amazement which I still recall the white man started talking to her in Yiddish. I still remember my astonishment, here was someone who could speak Yiddish and Chinese. I have often thought, after I heard about Morris Cohen, whether this was the man. I remember him as tall (certainly for a 5 year old) and wore a hat. I wonder if there was ever a point when he was in Toronto, during the summer (maybe spring or fall) during the 1943 period. It might also have been 1944.

    • Had to be 1944. According to my info he didn’t arrive back in Canada until December 1943. He had just been released from his internment camp in Stanley. My understanding is he went around Canada quite a bit after he recovered. In 1944 Morris would have been 57 years old. To a 5 year old this is close to Methuselah’s age. It could have been. Thanks for passing that story on.

  • Laszlo,
    I have much enjoyed many of your podcasts. The Two Gun Cohen podcasts were excellent primers before I started the Daniel Levy book which I am just about to complete. What a fascinating life our ‘hero’ had. I also have the Charles Drage book , but am very glad that I followed your guidance and read the Levy book first. Still I look forward to Cohen’s storytelling and embellishment in the earlier tome – perhaps I shall try to read it in a hotel lobby with a fat cigar? These books have a special relevance for me – I have lived in Mainland China / Hong Kong for the last 25 years and have a name which Morris might have approved of! I don’t own one gun though….

    Tom W.O. Cohen

  • Please read my book General Two Gun Cohen – Sun Yat-sen’s Jewish Bodyguard (Shuangqiang Jiangjun Ma Kun – Sun Zhongshan de Youtai Baobiao, published by Xiyuan Publishing House, Beijing, China 2012) , you would find more interesting stories about Two Gun Cohen.

    George Dong

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