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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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Golden Globes 2017: Here's Who Should Win and Will Win the Night's Biggest Awards!

Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) Courtney B. Vance's portrayal of Johnnie Cochran was unparalleled in this category. Case closed. Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Limited Series or TV Motion Picture Who Will Win ...
Posted: January 8, 2017, 12:52 pm

Our TV favourites to win at 2017’s Golden Globe Awards

Courtney B. Vance is also a strong contender giving the performance of his career as O.J. Simpson’s lawyer; Johnnie Cochran. Our tip to win: Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Each actor in this category deserves this ...
Posted: January 7, 2017, 6:33 am

Golden Globes Snubs and Surprises: From ‘Moonlight’ to ‘The Night Manager’

SNUB: Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” They both won Emmys for their work as rival lawyers Johnnie Cochran and Chris Darden, but the acclaimed duos fell victim to… AMC’s limited series had ...
Posted: January 8, 2017, 8:31 am
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