Mickey Cohen Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Mickey Cohen Net Worth 

Mickey Cohen had a peak net worth of $20 million during his lifetime. Mickey Cohen became the West Coast racket boss in 1947, after his mentor and predecessor, Bugsy Siegel, was assassinated. He earned most of his income from his criminal enterprise. 

Mickey Cohen grew up in Los Angeles after being born in Brooklyn, New York. Cohen’s first connections with top Jewish and Italian mobsters came during his adolescence, through his involvement in the boxing game. He began working for legendary mobster Bugsy Siegel in his early twenties.

By the early 1940s, Cohen had formed an alliance with Siegel’s partners Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello, was sanctioned by Lucky Luciano, and was supported by his old Cleveland backers, the Milano family, and other prominent nationally ranked mobsters. Siegel was assassinated in 1947, and Cohen took over as the West Coast crime boss. His connections were so extensive that despite being tried for a variety of offenses, including murder, he was only convicted twice, for income tax evasion.

To calculate the net worth of Mickey Cohen, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Mickey Cohen
Net Worth: $20 Million
Monthly Salary: $100 Thousand
Annual Income: $3 Million
Source of Wealth: Criminal enterprise

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Early Life

Meyer Harris Cohen was born on September 4, 1913, in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. He moved to Los Angeles as a toddler with his widowed mother, a Russian-Jewish immigrant who spoke little English. Cohen grew up in Boyle Heights, a tough Los Angeles melting pot neighborhood, with five older siblings. His brothers ran a drug store during Prohibition, where he learned to make bootleg alcohol.

Cohen grew up illiterate and unsupervised because he rarely attended school. Without proper guidance, he developed a skewed moral compass and was constantly looking for legal or illegal ways to make money. He had already served two terms in a reform school by the age of ten.

He sold newspapers in the financial district and competed in amateur boxing matches. At the age of 15, he ran away from home and lived in Cleveland, New York, and Chicago. Cohen began boxing professionally during the Great Depression and later worked as a freelance bandit and enforcer for major mobsters.

Early Mob Roles

Following the outbreak of trouble in Cleveland, the mob syndicate relocated Cohen to Chicago, where he ran his own armed burglary crew and worked small jobs on the illegal gambling circuit for the Chicago outfit made famous by Al Capone.

While many sources, including Cohen, claim that he and Al Capone met, there is no conclusive evidence to support this claim. A personal meeting between the two would have been extremely unlikely, however, because Capone was in prison for tax evasion when Cohen arrived in Chicago in 1934. During his time in Chicago, however, Cohen developed close ties to Al Capone’s underworld organization.

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Bugsy Siegel

Cohen’s return to California in 1937, when he was in his early twenties, was prompted by a violent public assault involving Cohen and a rival. When Cohen returned to Los Angeles, he was hardened, illiterate, and combative. His mentors arranged a deal with the charismatic and murderous New York mob legend Ben “Bugsy” Siegel, who was on the West Coast, to establish an extension of the East Coast Syndicate and the horserace wire service that controlled gambling on a national scale.

Fighting the local, well-entrenched L.A. racketeers and their cop allies, Siegel quickly took control of the rich and hedonistic territory, with Cohen as his lieutenant. By the early 1940s, their lucrative operations included gambling, prostitution, narcotics, and labor union control.

West Coast Boss

Siegel, who had pioneered undeveloped Las Vegas, was assassinated by a sniper in 1947, just months after opening his Flamingo casino. Cohen, 34, took over as West Coast racketeering boss.

Profitable Cohen’s plan for total control, backed by mob royals, included a newspaper, a wiretapper, and the state’s attorney general. He also hired a private tutor who helped him learn to read and write, as well as polish his manners. He became involved with major Hollywood figures as well as top politicians in Los Angeles at the time. Among those who bowed to the new boss were Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Conviction and Sentencing

Following Siegel’s assassination, old school and ineffective L.A. Mafia boss Jack Dragna saw Cohen as his main rival. After Cohen insulted him, a gang war erupted on the streets of Los Angeles. Several attempts on Cohen’s life were made, including ambushes in the streets and restaurants, as well as a bomb detonated at his home.

Local authorities went after Cohen with a vengeance, and the headlines that followed the years-long gang war drew attention in Washington. A senate committee, known colloquially as the Kefauver committee after its chair, Senator Estes Kefauver, was formed.

The Kefauver committee unmasked and jeopardized the entire underworld in 1950-51, exposing it for the first time on the new medium, television. Following Kefauver, the feds charged, tried, and convicted Cohen of tax evasion. He received a four-year federal prison sentence. This was his first incarceration.

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Lana Turner-John Stompanato Scandal

Cohen made a successful comeback when he returned to Hollywood in 1955. He claimed to be reformed, and Reverend Billy Graham, the country’s most famous religious figure, attempted to convert him to Christianity.

More headlines followed. When Cohen wasn’t socializing with the glitterati at posh restaurants and clubs, he was exploiting them. His specialty was blackmailing movie stars with secrets, often sexual in nature, that they wanted kept private.

A recording of Lana Turner having sex with John Stompanato, a handsome Cohen associate, was a much sought-after entertainment piece as well as a profitable venture. When Stompanato was discovered dead in Turner’s bedroom, another Cohen-related firestorm erupted.

The case was closed after authorities determined that Turner’s teenage daughter killed Stompanato in defense of her mother. But Cohen vehemently denied this and slandered Turner by releasing her love letters to Stompanato to the press.


Cohen was tried and convicted for tax evasion a second time in 1961, with his arch-enemy U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy heavily involved in the case.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, breaking Al Capone’s previous record for white-collar crime. He, like Scarface, spent his first months in Alcatraz before becoming the first and only prisoner ever bailed out — his bond was signed by a sitting United States Supreme Court Justice.

After his Supreme Court appeals were denied, he was transferred to a federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia, and Alcatraz was closed. Cohen was partially paralyzed after a vicious attack in the Atlanta facility in 1963.

Final Years and Death

Cohen was released from prison in 1972 and traveled the country, paying visits to friends like New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, meeting members of the press, and appearing on television frequently.

He made headlines once more in 1974, when he was tangentially involved in the infamous kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst. Cohen died in his sleep on July 29, 1976, in Los Angeles, of complications from stomach cancer. He was 62.

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