Robert Cooley (lawyer)

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Robert Cooley (born 1943) is a former Mafia lawyer, government informant and author of the 2004 autobiography, "When Corruption was King."

Early life[edit]

Cooley was born to an Irish-American family and lived in the Greater Grand Crossing section of Chicago's Southeast Side.[1] His father was a Chicago Police officer, as were both of his grandfathers – both of whom had died in the line of duty.


In 1986 Cooley, becoming deeply disgusted by the people he worked for after being given a contract to kill a police officer, approached the U.S. Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force and declared,

"I'd like to help you destroy the First Ward. I want to help you destroy Pat Marcy."[2]

He proceeded to work undercover as part of an FBI probe known as Operation Gambat (for Gambling Attorney). His work ultimately sent 24 men to prison, including Outfit mobsters, politicians, cops, and judges. It also led to significant political and judicial reforms.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Robert Cooley Interview Avila Chicago, 2007. Cooley notes that he lived at 74th & Vernon, as well as 76th & Langley.
  2. ^ Robert Cooley, "When Corruption Was King," pages 182.

External links[edit]