Roy Cohn is one of the most infamous lawyers in US history. His alleged connections with the mafia and his involvement in the conviction and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg made him stand apart. This is of course with the additional fact that under Senator McCarthy, he was also a major figure during the Lavender Scare. Contrary to his involvement in the Lavender Scare, lies the fact that he was known to be a closeted gay individual. This theory was strengthened with his death due to AIDS in the 1980s.
How Did Roy Cohn Earn His Money?
Roy Cohn was born in Manhattan in 1927. Growing up, watching his father, Albert Cohn, who was a fixer for Tammany Hall, he also tried to become a hustler. In school, he was known to fix traffic tickets for teachers, and arrange Post Office jobs for those willing to pay him. He earned both his Bachelor’s and Law Degree from Columbia University, before the age of 21. In 1948, with the help of his father, he became a federal prosecutor in Manhattan. A natural in the courtroom, he picked up the necessary skills, which played a major role in his involvement with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s case. This then led to his fame, which quickly garnered the interest of both J.Edgar Hoover and Senator McCarthy.
Eventually, he became the chief counsel for McCarthy. This is also the time, he became closely associated with G. David Schine. The two spent a significant amount of time together working for McCarthy, which also led to rumors about them being more than just friends. In any case, after the Army-McCarthy trial, he shifted to private practice. This time period was extremely significant for him as he became the legal representative of several top clients that included people like Anthony Salerno, Carmine Galante, Cardinal Francis Spellman, etc. Later, he also became involved with Donald Trump. They generated headlines for a $100 million countersuit, which ultimately did not happen.
In any case, Cohn also dabbled with several businesses, insurance companies, banks, etc. He financed enterprises with others’ money. In 1960, it was reported that he had borrowed from both US and several foreign money lenders. He became known for taking money but not enthusiastic about paying it back. This subsequently led to him being held accountable for fraud, and bribery. Even though the Feds tried him three times, he was acquitted in all of them. He was also vocal about his salary, which helped him pay for lunches at Le Cirque, or the Manhattan townhouse he occupied. It is alleged that the IRS swooped down on him to find that he actually owned no assets that could be seized. Thus, he continued living a glamorous life that often made headlines. What also made headlines was his death due to AIDS, which he constantly stated was liver cancer. He even allegedly used his influence to receive experimental drug trials. At the time, he was fighting AIDS, he was disbarred for stealing $ 100,000 from a certain client. Cohn died almost a month after he was disbarred due to complications from AIDS.
Roy Cohn’s Net Worth At The Time of His Death
At the time of his death, his estimated net worth is believed to have been close to $2 million. Cohn, whose fame succeeds his death, continues to be evoked in several cultural and political representations, especially for his involvement in shaping US history, during the Cold War and by being involved with several political figures and cases.
Read More: How Did Roy Cohn Die?