Roy Cohn dies from AIDS after Donald Trump ditches him

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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After Roy Cohn met Donald Trump, he quickly became Trump’s mentor, advising him on every aspect of his business, criminal, and personal dealings. But on August 2, 1986, Cohn dies from his battle with AIDS having not spoken to Trump in months, maybe over a year.

He lied to absolutely everyone about his diagnosis, insisting he was ill from liver cancer. But people knew, and people talked. They talked to Trump, who then transferred all of his legal business to other attorneys.

Donald found out about it and just dropped him like a hot potato. It was like night and day.

Susan Bell, Roy Cohn’s secretary

In one of his last interviews before his death, Cohn told a journalist that Trump “pisses ice water.”

Cohn’s funeral is attended by a variety of politicians and celebrities, including Barbara Walters, Rupert Murdoch, Estée Lauder, and even Donald Trump. Trump stands in the back and isn’t asked to talk. Cohn’s burial site is visited by far fewer friends.

Although Trump is not known for introspection, in stressful times he has wondered aloud, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” Here’s the answer: Your Roy Cohn died in ignominy. He’s buried in my family’s mausoleum, behind a marble slab marked “LAWYER AND PATRIOT.” Every so often, one of us pushes open the heavy door to leave flowers or notes for a beloved relative. No one leaves anything for Roy.

David L. Marcus, Roy Cohn’s cousin

External Sources

Politico (Archived)

USA Today (Archived)

Photo: Mary Ellen Mark via Vanity Fair

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