- Date of Birth:
- October 2, 1937
- Los Angeles
Johnnie Cochran (born Johnnie L. Cochran on October 2, 1937 in Shreveport, Louisiana) was an American lawyer. Johnnie grew up on the west coast after his family settled in Los Angeles in 1949. Johnnie attended UCLA, graduating with a degree in business, before attending the Loyola Marymount University School of Law. Inspired by Thurgood Marshall to get his legal degree, he took a job as a Deputy City Attorney before passing the California bar exam in 1963. Two years later, he started up his own firm, Cochran, Atkins and Evean, in rural Woodstock, Illinois. A case involving a widow suing the police for shooting and kill her husband energized Johnnie to be a defender of the black community. He returned to Los Angeles in 1978 to serve as the country’s first black assistant district attorney. He returned to private practice five years later, becoming “the best in the West” when it came to seeking settlements in tort actions. Johnnie famously became the lawyer for the rich and the successful, including O.J. Simpson. Johnnie famously defended O.J. over the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. He uttered the famous phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In American Crime Story, Johnnie was portrayed by Courtney B. Vance.
Best Known For:
Johnnie Cochran was best known as a lawyer that successfully defended O.J. Simpson.
Johnnie was married to Barbara Berry from 1960 to 1977. From 1985 to 2005, he was married to Sylvia Dale. He had three children. In 2004, Johnnie underwent surgery, which led him to withdraw from the media’s attention. On March 29, 2005, he died from a brain tumor. In 2006, the Mount Vernon Middle School was renamed to the Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Middle School.