Cowasjee, whose weekly columns appeared in the influential Dawn newspaper during 1988-2011, was admitted to a hospital in Karachi more than a week ago with a chest ailment.
Besides his columns laced with his acerbic wit and his forthright take on pressing issues facing Pakistan, Cowasjee was known for his social contributions and charity.
He was born into a prominent Parsi business family of Karachi on April 13, 1926.
He joined his family’s shipping business after completing his education at Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School and DJ Sindh Government Science College.
He had two children with his late wife Nancy Dinshaw.
In December 2011, Cowasjee decided to stop writing his weekly column.
“Now, old at 85, tired, and disillusioned with a country that just cannot pull itself together in any way and get on with life in this day and age, I have decided to call it a day,” he wrote in his farewell column.
The Cowasjee Foundation has funded the higher education of numerous students.
Several of Karachi’s hospitals too are beneficiaries of the Foundation.
Many Pakistanis took to Twitter to pay tribute to Cowasjee.