Once upon a time we used to spend an inordinate amount of time after school sitting on the floor of the Hudson News on Broadway and Eighth Street reading any and every magazine we could grab before buying one (maybe) and heading home. That adolescent magazine habit would have been much harder for us to foster had Hudson News and its ilk not existed, and for that reason we mourn Robert B. Cohen, the former president of that chain who helped change the way travelers buy magazines. Cohen died last week at the age of 86.

Cohen was the president of the Hudson County News Company, which distributed newspapers, in the mid-1970s when the company started getting into retail. In 1987 it opened a fancy, comfortable stall in LaGuardia—an instant success. The big look with lots of visible titles was a hit and the company quickly expanded. There are now about 600 of Hudson News stands across the country. In 2008 the company sold out to a Swiss duty-free chain, Dufry.

Like many Americans, our magazine reading habits have changed dramatically in the past fifteen years—hello, iPad—but we still have a soft spot for a good old fashioned, oversized glossy magazine. And if it weren't for Cohen we probably never would have known (let alone learned to give The Economist a chance). Cohen, who died of progressive supranuclear palsy, a Parkinson’s-like neurological disorder, is survived by his wife and son, a sister and six grandchildren.