Mickey Cohen was born on September 4, 1913, into an Orthodox Jewish family living in the Jewish Brownsville section of Brooklyn. His father died a year later.
At age 6, Mickey was selling newspapers on the streets at the corner of Soho and Brooklyn. But soon his mother moved her family to Los Angeles. Before he turned 10, petty crime landed Mickey in reform school.
He continued down a life of crime. He eventually got involved in labor racketeering, prohibition crime, illegal gambling, and went to prison for tax evasion. He became boss of the Cohen crime family.
Once when a rival gang murdered a couple of his business associates, Mickey marched into the Hotel Roosevelt in Las Vegas and started shooting into the lobby ceiling with two .45 caliber semi-automatic handguns, demanding that the assassins meet him outside in 10 minutes. No one came out.
In 1957, Time magazine wrote a brief article about Cohen’s meeting with Billy Graham. Cohen said, “I am very high on the Christian way of life. Billy came up, and before we had food he said—What do you call it? That thing they say before food? Grace? Yeah, grace. Then we talked a lot about Christianity and stuff.”
Supposedly, Mickey decided to become a Christian, but he didn’t change his lifestyle. He was confronted by some Christian acquaintances. His response: “Christian football players, Christian cowboys, Christian politicians; why not a Christian gangster?” —excerpted from Wikipedia