Herb Cohen graduated from New York University (NYU) in 1962, winning the NCAA foil championship in 1961-62. He was Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) foil champion in 1964. At the Martini-Rossi Invitational Cohen finished third in 1962 and 1964 and second in 1963. At the 1963 Pan American Games, Cohen won a bronze medal in individual foil and a gold medal with the US foil team. He also competed at the 1961 Maccabiah Games in Israel. He later coached fencing in various high schools in the New York area, and at NYU and Manhattan College. In high school, at Abraham Lincoln HS in Brooklyn, and college at NYU, Cohen fenced alongside one of his schoolmates, Neil Diamond, much better known for his singing.