Cohn, Roy M. (1927–1986)
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Roy M.Cohn, the controversial chief counsel of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s investigating committee, began his career as an anticommunist at the un-precedentedly young age of twenty when on the very day he passed the New York bar exam, he was appointed an assistant district attorney. Cohn quickly developed a reputation as a brilliant strategist, and he helped shape the case against atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. He later claimed that he and Judge Irving Kaufman were in constant contact throughout the trial plotting strategies, although his tendency to inflate his importance may have led him to misrepresent his relationship with the judge, which would have been grounds for a mistrial. But Cohn is best known for his role in the McCarthy witch hunts. As McCarthy’s chief counsel, Cohn helped formulate the senator’s sensationalistic charges, including that the State Department harbored known homosexuals.