Attorney Johnny Cochran

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Submitted By kcwest81
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Attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. was born on October 2, 1937, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the great-grandson of an African-American slave; however he grew up in a stable and prosperous family, with parents who stressed education. His family relocated to Los Angeles in 1949 where he attended public schools and earned excellent grades .He graduated first in his class from Los Angeles High School in 1955. Although his father had a good job with the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, Cochran always managed to find friends who had more money and more luxuries than he did. "If you were a person who integrated well, as I was, you got to go to people's houses and envision another life," he recalled in The American Lawyer. "I knew kids who had things I could only dream of.” He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959. He supported himself by selling insurance policies for his father’s company. Later that year he was accepted by the Loyola Marymount University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor in 1962. In 1963 he passed the California bar examination. He soon began taking highly publicized police brutality cases. In May of 1966, a young black man named Leonard Deadwyler was shot dead by police as he tried to rush his pregnant wife to the hospital. Cochran represented Deadwyler's family, who accused the police of needless brutality in their son's murder. The Los Angeles Police Department argued that the officers had acted in self-defense. "To me, this was clearly a bad shooting," Cochran maintained in The American Lawyer. "But the [district attorney] did not file charges, and when our firm filed a civil suit we lost. Those were extremely difficult cases to win in those days. But what Deadwyler confirmed for me was that this issue of police abuse really galvanized the…...

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