Johnnie Cochran was a lawyer, who handled several high profile celebrity cases. He was born on October 2, 1937 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He received his Bachelors’ degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1959. Initially selling insurance policies for a living, Cochran soon began to pursue a degree in law at the Loyola Marymount University School of Law. He passed the California Bar exam in 1963, and took his first job as a deputy city attorney in the criminal division. A few years later, he joined the private practice of a local criminal lawyer named Gerald Lenoir. Shortly after he began working with Lenoir, Cochran decided to establish his own law firm by the name of Cochran, Atkins & Evans.
The first case handled by this young firm was a high profile one, involving the murder of a black man named Leonard Deadwyler. Deadwyler was taking his wife to the delivery room, when he was accosted by the police and shot. The police officers claimed that they had acted in self-defense, but the Deadwyler family pressed charges against the LA Police Department for brutality and racial injustice. Cochran represented the family but lost the case. However, he firmly believed in the cause and a few years later, he took on a similar case. This time, the defendant was Geronimo Pratt, a former member of the Black Panther party, who was accused of murder. Cochran lost this case too, but insisted that the F.B.I. and L.A.P.D. were racially discriminating against and framing Pratt.
By this time, Johnnie Cochran had established himself as a champion for the African Americans. He fought and won a number of notable cases of police brutality and other criminal cases during the 1970s and 1980s. He then decided to rejoin public service, and joined the district attorney’s office at Los Angeles County. He did this in order to enhance his reputation and broaden his political contacts. During his time as a public servant, he had a run in with the police, when his Rolls Royce was stopped by some Los Angeles police officers,