Donald Trump was born with a killer instinct, but he allegedly honed much of his killer method from the lawyer and business savagery expert, Roy Cohn — once one of the young Trump’s closest advisors. Articles about Cohn and his influence on Trump have been popular lately, so Esquire unearthed its seminal Ken Auletta profile on Cohn from 1978.
Old Esquire articles are always a gift to our hurried culture, arriving from a time in the past when good writing perhaps held a higher place in popular culture. Auletta’s piece on Cohn is a shining example. Below are ten great lines from it:
1) “Roy Cohn has reason to be pleased—he has survived more crises than Richard Nixon.”
2) “Roy Cohn, it is said, is the personification of evil.”
3) “Roy Cohn personifies the problems of the law.”
4) “He’ll pull out some plays every now and then that aren’t in the book.”
5) “As a favor to his friend Halston, Roy advised Bianca how to handle Mick [Jagger].”
6) “He’s the only person I’ve ever known as a prosecutor who enjoyed being indicted.”
7) “He is not a very nice man.”
8) “If he feels his adversary has been unfair, it is war to the death.”
9) “To his clients, Roy is like a faith healer.”
10) “Roy’s liberal, jet-setting life-style doesn’t square with his conservative politics.”
To hear Cohn tell his own story, there’s his out of print 1971 book A Fool for a Client.