Johnnie Cochran
American lawyer and activist
Johnnie Cochran
Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. was an American lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O.  J. Simpson for the murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
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12 Baby Names Inspired By Black Stars Who Are Making History
Huffington Post - 15 days
In our previous salutes to Black History Month, we’ve looked back to activists, pop culture icons and other barrier breakers of the past. Today, we’re focusing on the present ― the history that’s being made right now with this year’s increased numbers of nominees and winners of various screen awards. Many more people of color made the lists this year than in years past, and these include not just actors, but also directors, producers, writers and musicians. Here are some of the more outstanding names for baby name inspiration. August August Wilson ― the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, born Frederick August Kittel, Jr. ― wrote both the play and screenplay for “Fences,” which won him a posthumous Oscar nom. August is by far the most popular month name for boys, now at number 195, and a celebrity favorite.  Ava Ava DuVernay has won several past awards and is the first black woman nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, for her film “13th.”  The na ...
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Huffington Post article
A Woman Managed To Shirk Jury Duty On The O.J. Simpson Trial By Lying About An 'SNL' Sketch
Huffington Post - 8 months
In the mid ‘90s, the O.J. Simpson murder trial dominated the news and our cultural consciousness. The obsession for all things O.J. has returned in recent months, thanks to FX’s “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” and ESPN’s epic five-part documentary "O.J.: Made in America." There’s so much to say about Simpson that it’s only in Part 4 of the 464-minute doc that we finally get to the trial of the century. The trial became an all out media circus that captivated the country from the moment the former NFL player was arrested on June 17, 1994 to his acquittal on Oct. 3, 1995. And when millions weren’t tuning in to CNN or Court TV for up-to-the-minute coverage of the trial, there’s a good chance audiences were laughing at its many preposterous moments on late night. Despite the fact that this case was about two brutal murders, the crazy court proceedings made the trial an easy target for jokes.  “Made in America” features a short clip from the cold open sketch that ...
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Huffington Post article
This Vintage Interview With Kris And Caitlyn Jenner Before The O.J. Simpson Verdict Is Incredibly Surreal
Huffington Post - about 1 year
With Tuesday night's premiere of "American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," we prepare to look back at a crime that captivated America as everyone watched "the trial of the century" unfold on their television screens for nearly a year.  In the hours before the series attempts to recreate a more than 20-year-old crime saga, we recognize that the trial not only changed media patterns and news cycles, but in many ways is largely responsible for some of the biggest players in the current pop culture landscape -- the Kardashians.  It's still strange to think that a little over a decade before the Kardashian name would come to be associated with reality TV, big butts and celebrity sex tapes, it was tied to the most-publicized trial in history. Robert Kardashian defended Simpson alongside Johnnie Cochran and several other lawyers, while his ex-wife and Nicole Brown Simpson's close friend, Kris Jenner, sat in the court room with then-husband Bruce Jenner (who now goes by Cait ...
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Huffington Post article
Courtney B. Vance: We're Paying Now for Not Paying Attention to Lessons of the O.J. Trial
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If America had paid attention to what was really going on at the O.J. Simpson murder trial, says Courtney B. Vance, we might not be suffering the trouble and the death we see in our cities two decades later. American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, an intense 10-part series that launches Tuesday at 10 p.m. on FX, digs into the byplay, intrigue, maneuvering and general gamesmanship of the ultra-high-profile 1995 trial in which Simpson (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Vance (above with Gooding) plays Johnnie Cochran, the attorney who guided Simpson's legal "Dream Team" to a come-from-behind victory that stunned much of America. Vance says it shouldn't have, but suggests he knows the reason: because too many of the people who followed the case made the same mistake as prosecutor Marcia Clark (played by Sarah Paulsen). "She didn't understand what the case was about," says Vance. "The jur ...
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Huffington Post article
Gather 'Round, You Young Folks: It's Time Your TV Told You Not One, But Two Stories About O.J. Simpson
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Whoever decided we need to revisit O.J. Simpson's life and murder case with two multi-part television documentaries should now raise his or her hand and explain. Oh, don't bother. They're here. OJ: Made in America, a five-part miniseries in ESPN's first-rate 30 For 30 series, will debut Jan. 22 at the Sundance Film Festival before airing on ESPN in June. FX's The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story, a 10-part miniseries, starts play Feb. 2. You could say there's an anniversary somewhere in here, since October marked 20 years since O.J. was found not guilty in the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nicole. Connor Schell, senior vice president of ESPN Films, also reminded TV writers in Pasadena Tuesday that to a whole younger generation, the O.J. story isn't a rerun. No matter how indelibly Americans from the 1990s remember the media tsunami that surrounded his arrest and trial, Schell correctly observed, "Most people under 30 don't." Either way, both ESP ...
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Huffington Post article
Which TV Vet Has Been Cast as Johnnie Cochran in American Crime Story: People vs. O.J. Simpson?
Yahoo News - about 2 years
Ryan Murphy is adding another illustrious name to the cast of his upcoming series American Crime Story: People vs. O.J. Simpson. Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum Courtney B. Vance has been tapped to play O.J. Simpson's lead defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Game of ... Read More > Other Links From TVGuide.com American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Courtney B. Vance
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Yahoo News article
Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story Books a Law & Order Vet to Play Johnnie Cochran
Yahoo News - about 2 years
Ryan Murphy has signed another illustrious name to the first season of his upcoming true-crime anthology series American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson. Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum Courtney B. Vance has been tapped to play O.J. Simpson's lead defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Cochran's most memorable moment during the infamous trial came during his closing arguments, when he argued to the jury, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," in reference to a glove found at the crime scene that Simpson tried on in court. Cochran later defended other celebrities in court, including Sean Combs, before dying of a brain tumor in 2005. At Cochran's funeral, Simpson said he believed he would not have been acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend it not for Cochran. Vance joins a star-studded ensemble for the FX project, which is set to debut next year. John Travolta will play defense attorney Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer will pl ...
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Yahoo News article
Money Talks
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Last time I checked, we aren't forced to sit in the back of the bus, and we aren't drinking from separate water fountains. So why in the world would we, the Black community and other minorities, tolerate such blatant disrespect as what corporate America has shown us? As the recently reported incidents of profiling, interrogation and detainment of customers at Barneys and Macy's have showcased, large entities from the private sector not only blatantly discriminate against us, they also establish a practice of criminalizing entire groups of people. But it even goes a step further: they insult us over and over again by systematically failing to do business with us. Companies are quick to take our dollars, but slow or non-existent to invest in our business ventures, in our ideas and in our communities. It's time for a drastic change, and as the old adage goes, money talks. Two years ago, Nielsen and the National Newspaper Publishers Association released a report on the state of the Afri ...
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Huffington Post article
John Cochrane: Think Government Is Intrusive Now? Wait Until E-Verify Kicks In
Wall Street Journal - over 3 years
There's a monster lurking in proposed immigration reform, one that bureaucrats will find irresistible.
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Wall Street Journal article
'Big Brother': 10 wackiest moments
Entertainment Weekly - over 3 years
By John Cochran ''Survivor'' winner/''Big Brother'' superfan John Cochran makes his picks
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Entertainment Weekly article
'Big Brother': 10 wackiest moments
Entertainment Weekly - over 3 years
By John Cochran ''Survivor'' winner/''Big Brother'' superfan John Cochran makes his picks
Article Link:
Entertainment Weekly article
Shaun Ossei-Owusu: Blacks, Bill Cosby and Deviance
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Bill Cosby enthusiast. Arguably even an apologist. Superficially, there's always been something about his safe, family friendly humor and eccentric sweater style (which Urban Dictionary troublesomely describes as akin to a vomiting of Fruity Pebbles). He also wears hoodies. I love hoodies. More substantively, like many hip-hop and Reagan babies, I've always been appreciative of the positive images of blackness offered in much of his programming from The Cosby Show to A Different World. These representations were an encouraging reprieve from the crack-riddled South Bronx that I grew up in as a kid. Moreover, as is well known, his shows were a sharp break from the depictions of black deviance that were in vogue in the 1980s and 1990s (and arguably still popular). But Dr. Cosby is continuously making it harder for me to vouch for him. Sometimes I feel like the late Johnnie Cochran defending this man. A recent piece by the entertainer ti ...
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Huffington Post article
John W. Boyd Jr.: Shame on The New York Times for Their Black Farmers and "Spigot" Story
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Shame on The New York Times for the bias that was so evident in last week's front page story titled "Federal Spigot Flows as Farmers Claim Bias." It clearly implied that even meager restitution was underserved and we were unworthy plaintiffs, although we successfully proved racial discrimination in federal farm loan practices. The headline was an immediate giveaway, (no pun intended) that this story intended to make a case against legally won payments to offset generations of injustice in federal farm loan practices. Then, early in the story the reporter writes, "What is more, some protested, the template for the deal-the $50,000 payouts to black farmers-had proved a magnet for fraud." Was the purpose of this observation to challenge our hard fought case and support a different outcome? Did it aim to doubly penalize those of us the court found had been wronged -- for generations? Alarmingly, this reporter interviewed career USDA lawyers and career senior employees for he ...
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Huffington Post article
Rev. Al Sharpton: Profiling Helps the Terrorists
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
In the 1990s, National Action Network and I worked on a case with the late Johnnie Cochran where we introduced the term racial profiling into America's lexicon. Four young Black and Latino men from New York were traveling to North Carolina for a basketball tournament when two White police officers pulled them over on the New Jersey Turnpike and opened fire, injuring three of them. Profiling, whether it be racial, religious, or any other kind, is a poison on society that can unknowingly chip away at its principles. After the catastrophic Boston marathon bombings, we must take great measure in making sure that in our diligent pursuit of all responsible parties, we do not begin down a slippery slope of profiling and demonizing entire groups, religions or ethnicities. Profiling based on race or religious affiliation is not only immoral and unproductive, but it also gives more power to those wrongdoers that fall outside of the profile. As I've echoed for decades, these kinds of ...
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Huffington Post article
Len Berman: Top 5 Sports Stories
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 9, 2013 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com. 1. Quick Hits Louisville, the top overall seed in the tournament, wins the NCAA basketball championship beating Michigan 82-76. The injured Louisville Cardinal Kevin Ware helped cut down the net after last night's win. Want to see a bad call? This Joe Nathan pitch was ruled strike three to end the game as Texas beat Tampa Bay 5-4. Home plate ump Marty Foster later admitted he blew the call. Banner night. Fans protesting the sorry state of the Miami Marlins are ejected from the stadium. One week into the baseball season, if the playoffs began today, the Red Sox and Mets would both be in. 2. What Now? So now that Louisville has kept the NCAA title in the state of Kentucky, what now? For one thing we know that Louisville won't defend its Big East title, they're no longer in the Big East. And of course there's the annual college question "which players go pro?" L ...
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Huffington Post article
Yvonna Russell: Rebel Without a Pause: Huey P. Newton
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Two years ago I remembered a documentary I saw produced by Antoine Fuqua called, Bastards of the Party about the Bloods and the Crips. The director, a former Blood gangmember, felt the gang-related turf wars grew out of the restless generation that came after the Black Panther Party, which patrolled to monitor police brutality and address the survival needs of the black community during the civil rights era. I thought it was fascinating and it got me to thinking about Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of self-defense of the Black Panther Party. I started reading everything on his life and work. Truly a labor of love one book on Eldridge Cleaver (author of Soul on Ice and minister of information, who later became a Republican) would lead me to a book on Geronimo Pratt and on to a book about his lawyer Johnnie Cochran and so on. I read Alondra Nelson's book, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination for her extensive research on t ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Johnnie Cochran
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2005
    Age 67
    On May 31, 2005, two months after Cochran's death, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its opinion on Tory v. Cochran.
    More Details Hide Details The court ruled 7–2 that in light of Cochran's death, an injunction limiting the demonstrations of Ulysses Tory "amounts to an overly broad prior restraint upon speech". Two justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said that Cochran's death made it unnecessary for the court to rule. Lower courts, before Cochran died, held that Tory could not make any public comments about Cochran in any way. In honor of Cochran, on January 24, 2006, Los Angeles Unified School District officials unanimously approved the renaming of Mount Vernon Middle School, Cochran's boyhood middle school, to Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. Middle School, saying he was an "extraordinary, superb lawyer with movie-star celebrity status." There have been mixed reactions about the board of education's decision, primarily because of Cochran's work as a lawyer. For instance, the sister of Nicole Brown Simpson has expressed her disappointment with the decision, although she called Cochran "a great defense attorney." After the school was renamed, city councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr. proposed that the city rename a section of 17th Street adjacent to the school be renamed as well; Wesson said that Cochran was "a great attorney and a great role model who contributed to this community." In 2007 the three block stretch of the street in front of the school was renamed "Johnnie Cochran Vista".
    Public viewing of his casket was conducted on April 4, at the Angelus Funeral Home and April 5, at Second Baptist Church, in Los Angeles and a memorial service was held at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, on April 6, 2005 in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details His remains were interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. The funeral was attended by numerous former clients and friends.
  • 2004
    Age 66
    In April 2004, Cochran underwent surgery, which led to him staying away from the media.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, he told the New York Post he was feeling well, and that he was in good health.
  • 2002
    Age 64
    In 2002, Cochran told Combs that this would be his last criminal case.
    More Details Hide Details After that trial, he retired, and later declined to represent R. Kelly and Allen Iverson in criminal cases, when they asked for his services.
  • 2001
    Age 63
    In 2001, Cochran's accountant estimated that within five years the attorney would be worth 25–50 million.
    More Details Hide Details Even before the Simpson case, Cochran had achieved a reputation as a "go-to" lawyer for the rich as well as a successful advocate in police brutality and civil rights cases. However, the controversial and dramatic Simpson trial made Cochran widely known, with opinions of him ranging widely. Cochran had often liked to say that he worked "not only for the OJs, but also the No Js". In other words, he enjoyed defending or suing in the name of those who did not have fame or wealth. Cochran's most glorious moment as a lawyer, he believed, was when he won the freedom of Geronimo Pratt. Cochran said he considered Pratt's release "the happiest day" of his legal practice. In the words of Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, Cochran "was willing to fight for the underdog." Rev. Jesse Jackson believed Cochran was the "people's lawyer." Magic Johnson proclaimed Cochran was known " for representing O. J. and Michael, but he was bigger and better than that".
  • FIFTIES
  • 1990
    Age 52
    In 1990 he joined a succeeding firm, Cochran, Mitchell & Jenna, and joined Cochran, Cherry, Givens & Smith in 1997.
    More Details Hide Details The Cochran Firm has grown to have regional offices located in fifteen states. In most of his cases Cochran represented plaintiffs in tort actions, and he was an opponent of tort reform. Due to his success as a lawyer, Cochran could encourage settlement simply by his presence on a case. According to Jesse Jackson, a call to Johnnie Cochran made "corporations and violators shake." Cochran's well-honed rhetoric and flamboyance in the courtroom has been described as theatrical. His practice as a lawyer earned him great wealth. With his earnings, he bought and drove cars such as a Jaguar and a Rolls-Royce. He owned homes in Los Angeles, two apartments in West Hollywood, and a condo in Manhattan.
  • FORTIES
  • 1978
    Age 40
    In 1978, Cochran returned to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office as its first black assistant district attorney.
    More Details Hide Details Though he took a pay cut to do so, joining the government was his way of becoming "one of the good guys, one of the very top rung." He began to strengthen his ties with the political community, alter his image and work from within to change the system. Five years later, Cochran returned to private practice, reinventing himself as "the best in the West" by opening the Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. law firm. In contrast to his early loss in the Deadwyler case, Cochran won 760,000 for the family of Ron Settles, a black college football player who, his family claimed, was murdered by the police.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1964
    Age 26
    In 1964, the young Cochran received one of his first celebrity cases, Lenny Bruce, who had recently been arrested on obscenity charges, and Cochran was assigned the case.
    More Details Hide Details Two years later, he entered private practice and soon opened his own firm, Cochran, Atkins & Evans, in Los Angeles. In his first notable case, Cochran represented a widow who sued several police officers, who had shot and killed her husband, Leonard Deadwyler. Though Cochran lost the case for his client, it became a turning point in his career. Rather than seeing the case as a defeat, Cochran realized the trial itself had awakened the black community. In reference to the loss, Cochran wrote in The American Lawyer, "those were extremely difficult cases to win in those days. But what Deadwyler confirmed for me was that this issue of police abuse really galvanized the minority community. It taught me that these cases could really get attention." By the late 1970s, Cochran had established his reputation in the black community. He was litigating a number of high-profile police brutality and criminal cases.
  • 1963
    Age 25
    Cochran took a job in Los Angeles as a deputy city attorney in the criminal division after he passed the California bar in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1959
    Age 21
    He went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959 and a Juris Doctor from the Loyola Law School in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details He was a member and 45th Laurel Wreath Wearer of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Inspired by Thurgood Marshall and the legal victory he won in Brown v. Board of Education, Cochran decided to dedicate his life to practicing law. Cochran felt his career was a calling, a double opportunity to work for what he considered to be right and to challenge what he considered wrong; he could make a difference by practicing law. In A Lawyer's Life, Cochran wrote, "I read everything that I could find about Thurgood Marshall and confirmed that a single dedicated man could use the law to change society". Despite setbacks as a lawyer, Cochran vowed not to cease what he was doing, saying "I made this commitment and I must fulfill it."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1955
    Age 17
    Cochran later graduated first in his class from Los Angeles High School in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Born
    Born on October 2, 1937.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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