Barney Cohen, who passed away suddenly on September 19, 2015 following a brief and unexpected illness, was a renowned international expert in demography, with a special interest in Africa and a lifelong commitment to work against poverty. He served as Director of the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, and most recently as Chief of the Population Studies Branch at the United Nations in New York. Barney brought enormous intellectual curiosity and a forward vision to his work, and is fondly remembered for his wry sense of humour and humble spirit.