Jewish Mobster Mickey Cohen Helped Bring Down Richard Nixon - Washington Post's Drew Pearson Published Cohen's Illicit Dealings

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Richard Nixon relied on mobster Mickey Cohen to help him get elected to the House and the Senate. Nixon took money from Cohen and his mob friends, including bookies around the United States.

A new book by celebrity biographer Brad Lewis finally tells the story of famous gangster Mickey Cohen, the west coast leader for Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky, boxer, bodyguard, blackmailer, pimp, bookie czar, gambler, haberdasher, restaurateur, racketeer, thief, and Robin Hoodlum to the poor and dispossessed.

"Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster, The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen" (ISBN: 1-929631-65-0) examines the mixed morality life of the Los Angeles-based mobster who reigned from the 1930s until his death in 1976.

"Late in 1945, Republican leaders chose Nixon to run for representative from the Twelfth District against popular New Deal Democrat Jerry Voorhis. Nixon knew he would lose the election without Mickey's help and imprimatur: Los Angeles was a Mickey stronghold; he controlled the territory that Nixon sought. Ambitious Nixon had no interest in returning to law practice in provincial Whittier. In order to run for the House seat, he surrounded himself with local powerhouses. To ensure Mickey's backing, he wisely asked for a meeting," said the author, Brad Lewis.

  •     The 1945 meeting was at little fish joint Goodfellow's Grotto, arranged by chubby, cigar-chomping mob attorney Murray Chotiner, who liked his silk ties, monogrammed shirts, and jeweled accessories.
  •     In 1950, Cohen held a fundraiser for Nixon in the Banquet room of the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel, attended by hundreds of U.S. bookies, including every big Vegas gambler. Nixon personally thanked the bookies!
  •     Columnist and showman Drew Pearson described the political play-by-play as "one of the most skillful and cut-throat campaigns I have ever seen." Nixon ran a dirty anti-Semitic anti-Communist smear campaign against her--he called Douglas (Helen Gahagen) the "pink lady"--using the mob's money and won the election.
  •     Pearson's "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column stayed with the Cohen-Nixon story for years, despite Nixon's purported friendship with Mickey.
  •     When Nixon beat Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election, Cohen was still in prison. Cohen said "…let's hope he isn't the same guy I knew as a rough hustler… I never had no idea that this guy Nixon could go anywhere…" That year Pearson published Cohen's entire statement about his dealings with Nixon.

Some of the facts featured in "Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster" include:

  •     How Mickey Cohen made extortion sex tapes of Marilyn Monroe.
  •     Cohen's introduction of Monroe to JFK through Sinatra and Peter Lawford.
  •     The Jewish mob's concerns about JFK's Israeli politics.
  •     Mickey Cohen, JFK, and Frank Sinatra dated some of the same women.
  •     Why did Cohen meet regularly with Menachem Begin and attorney Melvin Belli?
  •     How RFK threatened Mickey Cohen when he was naked in a prison shower.
  •     JFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan worked for television star Desi Arnaz and at the Santa Anita racetrack, one of Cohen's gambling strongholds.
  •     Lee Harvey Oswald's assassin Jack Ruby (Rubinstein) idolized Cohen and dated his girlfriend Candy Barr.
  •     Cohen's links to Carlos Marcello, David Ferrie, Jim Braden, and Al Gruber.
  •     How Mickey Cohen ran a gambling operation in the Ambassador Hotel, site of the RFK assassination.
  •     Frank Sinatra's lifelong relationship to Mickey Cohen. He even asked Mickey to solve his romantic problems with Ava Gardner.
  •     The true story of how Meyer Lansky sent Mickey to watch Bugsy Siegel as the Jewish mafia began their interests in Las Vegas.
  •     Mickey's role in finding kidnapped Patty Hearst for her father "Randy".
  •     Playboy Johnny Stompanato's murder at Lana Turner's house.
  •     Lyndon Johnson's broken promise to parole Mickey.
  •     Mickey's extortion schemes that mimic the charges against today's Hollywood sleuth-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano.

"I found 'Celebrity Gangster' intense, dramatic, a real page turner," said Irwin Winkler, producer of Goodfellas, Rocky, Raging Bull, and The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Book signings and talks: July 22nd - Barnes and Noble, Marina Del Rey, CA, noon.
August 26 - Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 2-4 PM
September 8th - Book Soup, West Hollywood, CA, 5 PM.

Upcoming Interview: London (August 9), Lara Lewington, Jewish Chronicle.

Recent Interview:
"Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster" KPCC "Air Talk" with Larry Mantle

Available for interviews: (310) 275-9968 or

"Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster" is available for purchase at all online and retail bookstores; including Borders, Barnes and Noble,,, For more information visit &

Book Summary:
Title: Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen
by Brad Lewis
425 pages, 30 halftones
Trade paper $22.00
Publication date: May 28, 2007
ISBN: 1-929631-65-0

U.K. Distribution by Greenhill Books, London.
U.S. and Canadian distribution by Perseus Consortium.


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