Johnnie Cochran (1937-2005)
Johnnie Cochran was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Johnnie Cochran eventually established himself as a sought after attorney dealing with high-profile police brutality cases involving the African-American community. The family moved to California in 1943, where the younger Cochran eventually excelled as a student in what was becoming a more racially integrated environment. In 1959, he received his bachelor s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and later attended Loyola Marymount University Law School, graduating in 1962. Upon passing the bar, Cochran worked as a deputy criminal prosecutor in Los Angeles. By mid-decade, he entered private practice with Gerald Lenoir and soon launched a firm of his own — Cochran, Atkins & Evans. He attracted famous clients like Michael Jackson and led O.J. Simpson’s defense team in the 1995 murder trial. Amidst much debate over the case, Cochran entered the national spotlight and became a celebrity himself, making screen appearances and writing his memoirs. Because of widespread coverage of the Simpson trial, Cochran entered the superstar realm of celebrity, reportedly receiving a $2.5 million advance to write his memoirs. Yet more controversy followed the lawyer when items from his personal life were publicly revealed. His first wife, Barbara Cochran Berry, wrote her own memoir — Life After Johnnie Cochran: Why I Left the Sweetest Talking, Most Successful Black Lawyer in L.A. — accusing her ex-husband of cruel behaviors that included physical and emotional abuse. Cochran’s longtime mistress, Patricia Sikora, also spoke out against the attorney. He died on March 29,2005.