Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors hit with record insider trading penalty

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Billionaire Steven A. Cohen, whose hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to pay a record penalty for insider trading, is a native Long Islander known as a high-rolling art collector and philanthropist as well as a savvy investor.

Cohen wasn't personally charged by federal officials.

Cohen, born June 11, 1956, in Great Neck, graduated from high school there and earned a bachelor of science degree in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.

He worked as a trader at Gruntal & Co. in New York from 1978 to 1992, according to Who's Who, when he founded SAC. Over two decades, he built SAC, based in Stamford, Conn., into one of the biggest and most envied hedge funds in the United States.

According to Forbes, Cohen was the 43rd-richest American, with a net worth of $9.4 billion in 2012. He is among an elite group of hedge fund managers who have personally earned at least $1 billion in a single year.

According to Who's Who, Cohen is a board member of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research; a co-founder of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation; and active in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. He favors Impressionist, modern and contemporary art.

The New York Times reported last week he was disposing of $80 million of his art collection at auctions beginning this week. Another report in that newspaper said he purchased a $60 million oceanfront property in East Hampton in March.

He and his second wife, Alexandra M. Cohen, whom he married in 1992, had pledged $50 million to the Schneider Children's Hospital, part of the North Shore-LIJ system, which was renamed the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park.

Cohen has six children, two with his first wife and four with Alexandra M. Cohen.

The Times said in December he was the third of eight children, and that his father ran a dress manufacturing company in Manhattan and his mother taught piano. The profile said he was a fiercely competitive soccer player at Great Neck North High School and an avid poker player.

With wire reports

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