by Tere Tereba
Published by ECW Press, May 2012
Go deep into the L.A. underworld with the true story of one obsessive gangster’s unparalleled quest for privilege, power, and paydays.
This biography of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen digs past the sensational headlines to deliver a remarkable story of a man who captivated, corrupted, and terrorized Los Angeles for a generation.
When Bugsy Siegel was assassinated in Beverly Hills, former pro boxer Mickey Cohen took over the criminal activity in Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen attained such power and dominance from the late 1940s until 1976 that he was a regular above-the-fold newspaper name, accumulating a remarkable count of more than 1,000 front-pages in Los Angeles papers alone, and was featured in hundreds of articles in national and international periodicals. His story and the history of mid-century L.A. are inextricably intertwined.
Mickey Cohen is a seductive, premium-octane blend of true crime and Hollywood that spins around a wildly eccentric mob boss. Author Tere Tereba delivers tales of high life, high drama, and highly placed politicians, among them RFK and Richard Nixon, as well as revelations about countless icons, including Shirley Temple, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, and the Reverend Billy Graham. Meticulously researched, this rich tapestry presents a complete look at the Los Angeles underworld.
Tere Tereba is an award-winning fashion designer and journalist. She has written extensively for Interview magazine, her work has been featured in Italian Vogue, and her account of Jim Morrison in Paris was selected by The Doors to appear in their book, The Doors: An Illustrated History. Tereba lives in Los Angeles.
"Mickey “The Hood With Nine Lives” Cohen finally gets his due. With great style and boatloads of new information, Tere Tereba has crafted a page-turner about the greatest gangster LA has ever seen. Celebs, gamblers, politicians—for decades they all bowed to Cohen’s vise-grip on Southern California. Few lived on the edge as long as Cohen, and fewer still earned a biography this entertaining. As MC himself might say: "Buy it if you know what's good for you."
- Gus Russo, author of The Outfit and Supermob
"Mickey Cohen got a lot of good breaks in his wild ride of a life, and here comes another: Tere Tereba gives the gangster the biography he has long deserved—an intense, straight-shooting, rocket-fast read, full of gossip, gore, and great research. Cohen's life is a fascinating slice of American history, and Tereba captures it poignantly."
- Jonathan Eig, author of Get Capone
"An arresting, high speed account of Hollywood's homegrown Superstar of crime--dangerous, outrageous, bulletproof Mickey Cohen, the man the Mob could not kill...Tere Tereba writes a white hot true crime classic."
- Lee Server, author of Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing
"The underworlds of all great North American cities have at one time or another been dominated by an iconic gangster. For Los Angeles, that meant Mickey Cohen, native son. This highly factual, rapidly-paced biography chronicles not only tough-guy poster boy Mickey, but the City Noir whose appetites and ambitions he serviced, exploited, and, paradoxically, exemplified."
- Kevin Starr, University of Southern California, Professor of History