Art Cohn

Art Cohn (April 5, 1909 – March 22, 1958) was an American sportswriter, screenwriter and author. Cohn and Hollywood producer Mike Todd died in a plane crash in New Mexico in 1958.

Art Cohn
Cohn, at left, with Mike Todd
Born(1909-04-05)April 5, 1909
New York City, New York
DiedMarch 22, 1958(1958-03-22) (aged 48)
Cause of deathAirplane crash
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
ResidenceBeverly Hills, California
OccupationSportswriter, screenwriter, author
Spouse(s)Marta Frank[1]



Cohn was born in New York City. Early in his career he wrote for the Long Beach Press-Telegram.[2] From 1936 to 1943, he was a sportswriter and sports editor for the Oakland Tribune,[3] which published his sports column Cohn-ing Tower (wordplay on "conning tower"). He worked as a press correspondent during World War II.[4] In January 1958, after being away from newspaper work for 14 years, Cohn joined The San Francisco Examiner;[5][6] in his first column there, he wrote, "Things seem to happen where I happen to be."[4]

Cohn was a controversial opinion writer of the time; he "afflicted the sports world with hard questions about racial equality long before the civil rights movement."[7] He was also a boxing fan.


Cohn was a Hollywood screenwriter on many movies, including:

He also wrote teleplays for unsold television pilots Plane for Hire in 1957 and The Celeste Holm Show in 1958.


Cohn was the author of the Joe E. Lewis biography The Joker Is Wild, published by Random House in 1955, on which the movie The Joker Is Wild (1957) was based. At the time of his death, Cohn was writing a biography of Mike Todd, The Nine Lives of Michael Todd, which was finished by Cohn's wife and released by Random House in 1958.


Cohn died on March 22, 1958, in the same plane crash that killed Broadway theatre and Hollywood film producer Mike Todd, pilot Bill Verner and co-pilot Tom Barclay. The twin-engine, 12-passenger Lockheed Lodestar crashed in bad weather in the Zuni Mountains near Grants, New Mexico. Ironically, Todd had named the plane The Lucky Liz after wife Elizabeth Taylor. Cohn, a resident of Beverly Hills, was survived by his wife, Marta, and his two sons, Ian and Ted.[4]


  • Cohn, Art (1955). The Joker is Wild: The Story of Joe E. Lewis. Random House. ASIN B0007DEU8S.
  • Cohn, Art (1959). The Nine Lives of Michael Todd. Pocket Books. ASIN B001Q6TNF0.


  1. "Art Cohn Weds, to Reside in Berkeley". Oakland Tribune. December 23, 1944. Retrieved November 15, 2017 via
  2. Zinser, Ben (March 23, 1958). "Art Cohn--'Always Called a Spade a Steam Shovel'". p. A-1. Retrieved November 15, 2017 via
  3. Newhouse, Dave (March 26, 2011). "Former Tribune columnist died with Liz's hubby No. 3". The Mercury News. San Jose, California. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  4. "Mike Todd Killed". Ocala Star-Banner. March 23, 1958. pp. 1, 12. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  5. Zinser, Ben (March 23, 1958). "Art Cohn--'Always Called a Spade a Steam Shovel'". p. A-4. Retrieved November 15, 2017 via
  6. Winchell, Walter (January 10, 1958). "Walter Winchell (column)". The Star Press. Muncie, Indiana. Retrieved November 16, 2017 via
  7. Columnist was early, angry voice against sports color line Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2008.

Further reading

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