46 Facts About Roy Cohn


Roy Cohn represented and mentored New York City real estate developer and future US President Donald Trump during his early business career.


Roy Cohn rose to prominence as a US Department of Justice prosecutor at the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, where he successfully prosecuted the Rosenbergs leading to their execution in 1953.


Roy Cohn died five weeks later from AIDS-related complications, having vehemently denied that he had HIV.


Roy Cohn's great-uncle was Joshua Lionel Cowen, the founder and longtime owner of the Lionel Corporation, a manufacturer of toy trains.


Roy Cohn had an unhappy childhood and was taunted by his mother for, in her view, being physically unattractive and mild mannered.


When Roy Cohn's father insisted that his son be sent to a summer camp, his mother rented a house near the camp and her presence cast a pall over his experience.


In personal interactions, Roy Cohn showed tenderness which was absent from his public persona, but exhibited deeply ingrained vanity and insecurity.


The bank failed in 1931 during the Great Depression, and its then-president, Bernie Marcus, Roy Cohn's uncle, was convicted of fraud.


Bernie Marcus was imprisoned at Sing Sing, and the young Roy Cohn frequently visited him there.


Roy Cohn became an assistant US attorney later that month.


In 1948, Roy Cohn became a board member of the American Jewish League Against Communism.


Roy Cohn played a prominent role in the 1951 espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.


Roy Cohn said in his autobiography that his own influence had led to both Chief Prosecutor Saypol and Judge Irving Kaufman being appointed to the case.


Roy Cohn further said that Kaufman imposed the death penalty based on his personal recommendation.


Roy Cohn denied participation in any illegal ex parte discussions.


Roy Cohn assisted McCarthy's work for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, becoming known for his aggressive questioning of suspected Communists.


Roy Cohn preferred not to hold hearings in open forums, which went well with McCarthy's preference for holding "executive sessions" and "off-the-record" sessions away from the Capitol to minimize public scrutiny and to question witnesses with relative impunity.


Roy Cohn was given free rein in pursuit of many investigations, with McCarthy joining in only for the more publicized sessions.


When Schine was drafted into the US Army in 1953, Roy Cohn made extensive efforts to procure special treatment for him, even threatening to "wreck the Army" if his demands were not met.


Roy Cohn's clients included Donald Trump; New York Yankees baseball club owner George Steinbrenner; Aristotle Onassis; Mafia figures Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante, John Gotti and Mario Gigante; Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager ; the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York; Texas financier and philanthropist Shearn Moody, Jr.


Roy Cohn was known for his active social life, charitable giving, and combative and loyal personality.


Roy Cohn maintained close ties in conservative political circles, serving as an informal advisor to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.


Roy Cohn was linked to and worked with Democrats such as Ed Koch, Meade Esposito, and John Moran Bailey.


Roy Cohn was allegedly involved in the construction of Trump Tower.


Roy Cohn had represented mobsters in the past like Carmine Galante and Anthony Salerno.


Rupert Murdoch was a client, and Roy Cohn repeatedly pressured President Ronald Reagan to further Murdoch's interests.


Roy Cohn is credited with introducing Trump and Murdoch, in the mid-1970s, marking the beginning of what was to be a long, pivotal association between the two.


Roy Cohn was the grandnephew of Joshua Lionel Cowen, founder of the Lionel model train company.


In 1963, Roy Cohn was forced to resign from the company after losing a proxy fight.


Stone said Roy Cohn gave him a suitcase that Stone avoided opening and, as instructed by Roy Cohn, dropped it off at the office of a lawyer influential in Liberal Party circles.


Roy Cohn told journalists that Trump phoned him 15 to 20 times a day and according to Seymour's notes, Trump was the last person to speak to Roy Cohn on the phone before he died in 1986.


Roy Cohn attended events and parties with prominent people such as Margaret Trudeau and Virginia Graham.


Roy Cohn dated Barbara Walters in college and remained friends with her.


Roy Cohn got to know Alan Dershowitz when they worked together on the Claus von Bulow case and praised Dershowitz's support for Israel.


That arose from an incident in 1975, when Roy Cohn entered the hospital room of the dying and comatose Lewis Rosenstiel, forced a pen into his hand, and lifted it to the will, in an attempt to make himself and Cathy Frank, Rosenstiel's granddaughter, beneficiaries.


The young Roy Cohn attached himself to several older powerful men who, in return, provided Roy Cohn with assistance.


Roy Cohn always seemed to have these young blond boys around.


McCarthy and Roy Cohn were responsible for the firing of scores of gay men from government employment, and strong-armed many opponents into silence using rumors of their homosexuality.


In 1984, Roy Cohn was diagnosed with AIDS and attempted to keep his condition secret while receiving experimental drug treatment.


Roy Cohn participated in clinical trials of AZT, a drug initially synthesized to treat cancer but later developed as the first anti-HIV agent for AIDS patients.


Roy Cohn insisted to his dying day that his disease was liver cancer.


Roy Cohn died on August 2,1986, in Bethesda, Maryland, of complications from AIDS, at the age of 59.


Roy Cohn knew how to manipulate the press and dictate stories to the New York tabloids.


Roy Cohn was like a caged animal who would go after you the minute the cage door was opened.


Roy Cohn's eyes were the palest blue, all the more startling because they appeared to protrude from the sides of his head.


Roy Cohn is portrayed by James Woods in the biographical film Citizen Roy Cohn, by Joe Pantoliano in Robert Kennedy and His Times, by George Wyner in Tail Gunner Joe, and by David Moreland in The X-Files episode "Travelers", in which an elderly former FBI agent speaks to Agent Fox Mulder about the early years of the McCarthy era and the beginning of the X-Files.