Thursday, January 10, 2013

Portraits of Mickey Cohen, a Legendary Los Angeles Mobster, 1949

Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen (September 4, 1913 – July 29, 1976) was a gangster based in Los Angeles and part of the Jewish Mafia, and also had strong ties to the American Mafia from the 1930s through 1960s.

Here, LIFE.com offers a series of photographs from 1949 featuring Mickey and LaVonne Cohen in their natural environment, as they hoped the world might see them: quiet, sober, eminently respectable members of the community, without a care in the world, enjoying life beneath the kind and lidless California sun.

Gangster Mickey Cohen sits amid the front pages of newspapers that helped make him the city's' most infamous citizen, Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen, 1949.

Mickey Cohen at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Angry and hungry, Mickey eats sandwich as he leaves home with cop who arrested him for cursing other officers. Mickey called arrest persecution.

Mickey Cohen with his wife, LaVonne, at home in Los Angeles, 1949.


Gangster Mickey Cohen at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Gangster Mickey Cohen smells flowers at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen's wife, LaVonne, at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Gangster Mickey Cohen at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen's wife, LaVonne, at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen's wife, LaVonne, at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen's wife, LaVonne, 1949.

Gangster Mickey Cohen at home in Los Angeles with his business manager, Mike Howard, 1949.

Mickey Cohen, 1949.

Gangster Mickey Cohen at home in Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen signs an autograph for a young fan, Los Angeles, 1949.

Mickey Cohen hauled in by the cops, Los Angeles, 1949. 

Mickey Cohen, 1949.

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