Mickey Cohen Biography

Mickey Cohen was an American gangster who ran the gang named ‘The Bugs and Meyer Mob.’ Check out this biography to know about his birthday, childhood, family life, crimes and other facts about him.

Quick Facts

Birthday: September 4, 1913

Nationality: American

Famous: Gangsters American Men

Died At Age: 62

Sun Sign: Virgo

Also Known As: Meyer Harris Cohen

Born Country: United States

Born in: Brooklyn, New York City

Famous as: Gangster

Height: 1.65 m


Spouse/Ex-: Lavonne Weaver (m. 1940–1951)

father: Max Cohen

mother: Fanny Cohen

Died on: July 29, 1976

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Meyer Harris Cohen, better known as Mickey Cohen, was an American gangster who ran the street gang ‘The Bugs and Meyer Mob’ after its original founder Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was murdered. Cohen had worked with Siegel for a while before earning his trust and eventually becoming his right-hand man. Cohen had a troubled childhood and got involved in petty crimes, including participating in underground fights for prize money. Later, he started boxing seriously and decided to be a professional boxer. Mickey Cohen was notorious for his illegal card and gambling business in Chicago. He was charged for a multiple homicide at a card game where multiple gangsters were killed. He also worked with Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone’s brother Mattie Capone for a brief period. Cohen famously helped Siegel in developing the Flamingo Hotel and ran the race and sports book operation. After Siegel’s murder, Cohen became violent towards the crime families believed to have ordered his killing. This earned him the wrath of many other gangs. Cohen was also involved in many businesses in his life; he owned flower shops, nightclubs, gas stations and casinos.

Childhood & Early Life
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Boxing Career
  • Mickey Cohen’s resolve to be a professional boxer grew stronger and at the age of 15, he moved to Ohio to train. On April 8, 1930, Cohen made his debut as a professional boxer against Patsy Farr in Cleveland.
  • In 1933, Cohen fought against Albert "Chalky" Wright and lost the bout. ‘Los Angeles Times’ mentioned Cohen as ‘Mickey Cohen from Denver, Colorado’, incorrectly, in their report of the match.
  • Cohen also fought against World Featherweight Champion Tommy Paul and was knocked out within two minutes twenty seconds into the match. However, during the match, Cohen was mentioned as ‘Gangster Mickey Cohen’, for his fearless fighting attitude against the featherweight champion, by the commentators. His last professional match was against Baby Arizmendi in Mexico in May 1933.
Criminal History
  • Mickey Cohen left boxing and entered the world of crime very quickly. He got involved with Italian-American mafia member Johnny Dio and his brother Tommy Dioguardi in their labor racketeering business.
  • He then found himself a place in the illegal gambling business run by the notorious mobster Al Capone. Mickey Cohen shifted to Chicago to run his gambling business under AL Capone’s organization.
  • During the period of “Prohibition” in US, Mickey Cohen became part of the organized crime run by the ill-famed Chicago Outfit. During his handling of an illegal gambling business, Cohen was charged by the police in a homicide case where multiple gangsters were killed. Cohen was sent to jail but he returned soon to run his business and extend it further.
  • Back in Cleveland, Cohen met Meyer Lansky and his associate Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, the duo known for founding the infamous Bugs and Meyer Mob group. Cohen became Siegel’s right-hand man in Los Angeles.
  • Mickey Cohen was instrumental in setting up the Flamingo Hotel for Siegel. The hotel was opened in 1946 along with a casino. Later, Cohen also established the racing network for Vegas betting.
  • The Flamingo Hotel became the reason for Siegel’s fall. The Italian-American crime families didn’t like the way Siegel ran the hotel and the associated business. He became a greater threat to the mafia world and was ordered to be killed.
  • Siegel and his girlfriend were killed in 1947. This sparked great anger in Mickey Cohen who tried to avenge Siegel, and in the process, drew the attention of many gangs. He faced many murder attempts in the next few years as a result.
  • Alongside other criminals, Cohen was also investigated by the famous Kefauver Commission and was charged for tax evasion. He went to prison for four years in the 1950s. After his release, Cohen set up many businesses, including casinos, gas stations, paint stores and other ventures.
  • Ten years after he was sentenced to prison for tax evasion, Cohen faced charges for the same reason once again and was sent to Alcatraz. He was released on bail from Alcatraz but after his appeals were rejected, Cohen was sent to a federal prison in Georgia. He faced multiple attempts on his life inside the prison.
Family & Personal Life
  • Mickey Cohen married Lavonne Weaver, a sex worker by profession, whom he met in Las Vegas while working for Siegel.
  • In the 1970s, Cohen was wrongly diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. Apparently, he had been suffering from stomach cancer. He died on July 29, 1976, due to complications from the disease. He was 62.

See the events in life of Mickey Cohen in Chronological Order

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Mickey Cohen

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