Cohn was born in New York, New York. He was a sportswriter and sports editor for the Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) newspaper who published the sports column The Cohn-ing Tower. Cohn was also a press correspondent during World War II. He also wrote for the Long Beach Press-Telegram. He was a controversial opinion writer of the time. He was a boxing fan.
Career as screen writer
- The Set-Up (1949)
- Stromboli (1950)
- The Tall Target (1951)
- Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)
- Carbine Williams (1952)
- Glory Alley (1952)
- Red Skies of Montana (1952)
- Fatal Desire (1953)
- The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
- Tennessee Champ (1954)
- Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
- Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957)
- The Seven Hills of Rome (1958)
He 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. He also wrote teleplays for unsold television show pilots Plane for Hire in 1957 and The Celeste Holm Show in 1958.
Death in plane crash
Art 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 of New Mexico near Grants, New Mexico. Ironically Todd had named the plane The Lucky Liz after wife Elizabeth Taylor. Cohn was writing Mike Todd's biography, The Nine Lives of Mike Todd, which was finished by Cohn's wife and released by Random House in 1958. Cohn, a resident of Beverly Hills, was survived by his wife, Maria, and his two sons, Ian and Ted.
- "Mike Todd Killed". Ocala Star-Banner. March 23, 1958. pp. 1, 12. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Columnist was early, angry voice against sports color line Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2008. Quote: Art Cohn died 50 years ago today. From Long Beach to the Bay Area, the newsman afflicted the sports world with hard questions about racial equality long before the civil rights movement.