Famed attorney Johnnie Cochran died Tuesday in California following an extended illness, a partner in his law firm said. He was 67.
Cochran, the great-grandson of a slave, grew up in a wealthy family in Los Angeles. He earned his law degree from Loyola Marymount University after getting a bachelor's degree from the University of California.
He became famous in the 1970s for his work on controversial, headline-grabbing cases in Los Angeles, taking on as a client a Black Panther accused of murder and a number of police-brutality cases.
His client list included pop singer Michael Jackson, for whom he arranged an out-of-court settlement with a boy who had accused the singer of molestation, and O. J. Simpson, Cochran argued had been framed by a racist police officer.