It is always great to support a member of The Luncheon Society when they have a book that comes out to well-deserved acclaim. Such was the case of Tere Tereba, who we first met several years ago at a TLS gathering in Santa Monica at Mimi’s—a restaurant that is long-missed for its bungalow style rooms as wonderful owner—where she was the longtime companion of Jerry Leiber, of Leiber and Stoller.
For us, Mickey Cohen is still one of the great mysteries of the underworld and films of the days focused on the five families of New York and often turned a blind eye to what was going on in their own backyards—for good reason. Unlike the fictional version portrayed by Sean Penn in Gangster Squad, the real Mickey Cohen was a far more complex figure, who operated and socialized on many levels.
Her book jacket synopsis gives you a good background of what her book is all about.
“Mickey Cohen: The Life and Times of LA’s Notorious Mobster” is a seductive, premium octane blend of true crime and Hollywood lore that spins around a wildly eccentric mob boss. When Bugsy Segal was executed, ruthless Mickey Cohen a former pro boxer and cunning provocateur, took over the criminal activity in LA, a move sanctioned by Meyer Lansky and frank Costello. Attaining immense power and dominance from the late 1940’s until the 1976, the semi-literate Angelino became an above –the-fold-newspaper name, accumulating 1,000 front pages in Los Angeles papers alone, and hundreds of articles in national and international periodicals. Continue reading