Johnnie Cochran: 1937-2005
At his death from a brain tumor on March 29 at his home in Los Angeles, Cochran, 67, was known by almost everyone as one of the country's most prominent attorneys. That in itself was a remarkable accomplishment for the grandson of a Louisiana sharecropper. Cochran first made his name in L.A. by taking on the LAPD in a series of high-profile police-brutality cases. In recent years Cochran, who was married to second wife Dale Mason, 54, and had three grown children, had defended other notables, including Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Michael Jackson. But to those who knew him, he'll be remembered for the life lessons he taught as much as for the legal strategems. As he once told Court TV anchor Jami Floyd, "The day you stop looking forward to the mystery and challenge of every tomorrow is when you stop living."