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Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. (October 2, 1937 a?? March 29, 2005) 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. Cochran also represented Sean Combs (during his trial on gun and bribery charges), Michael Jackson, rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Todd Bridges, football player Jim Brown, rapper Snoop Dogg, former heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe,1992 Los Angeles riot beating victim Reginald Oliver Denny, and Geronimo Pratt. He also represented athlete Marion Jones when she faced charges of doping during her high school track career. Cochran was known for his skill in the courtroom and his prominence as an early advocate for victims of police brutality.


Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. ("L" was his full middle name) was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. His father, Johnnie Cochran, Sr., was an insurance salesman, and his mother sold Avon products. The family relocated to the West Coast and settled in Los Angeles in 1949. Cochran later graduated first in his class from Los Angeles High School in 1955. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959 and his Juris Doctor at Loyola Marymount University School of Law (now Loyola Law School) in 1962. He was a member 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:
Despite setbacks as a lawyer, Cochran vowed not to cease what he was doing, saying "I made this commitment and I must fulfill it."
Cochran took a job in Los Angeles as a Deputy City Attorney

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Johnnie Cochran Latest News

Emmy-Winning Actor Courtney B. Vance to Narrate Christmas Concert

Vance, who also narrated “What Shall We Give Him?,” LCPC’s Christmas concert last year, received a Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Johnnie Cochran in the FX series “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and is also renowned for his work in ...
Posted: December 8, 2016, 5:48 am

Interview: Co-Directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck Invite All to ‘Office Christmas Party’

The great thing about Courtney is that he recently was excellent in the O.J. Simpson miniseries [as Johnnie Cochran], and we also knew him from Broadway way back in ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’ We knew he was a properly trained actor, and we sensed ...
Posted: December 7, 2016, 11:17 am

Felicity Huffman-Courtney B. Vance Comedy Snags ABC Pilot Order

Huffman will shoot the pilot after completing work on American Crime Season 3, which is currently in production. Vance, meanwhile, is coming off his Emmy-winning turn as Johnnie Cochran in American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson.
Posted: December 6, 2016, 9:55 am
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