Cohn, Roy Marcus

   Born in New York City, Roy Cohn graduated from Columbia Law School in 1947 and became an assistant U.S. attorney in 1948. He rose to prominence as one of the prosecutors involved in the case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1951 and three years later became special counsel to Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Committee on Government Operations. He and his friend David Schine notoriously toured State Department offices in Europe and removed what they classified as procommunist literature from the libraries, including books by John Steinbeck and Dashiell Hammett. Cohn was forced to resign his position when it was revealed during the army hearings that he had tried to use his influence to have Schine exempted from military service. He established a law practice and established a reputation as powerbroker with links to the media. However he was also involved in unproved charges of jury tampering and later of tax avoidance. He died from an Aids-related illness.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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