The enigma that is Roy Cohn

For many, especially younger generations, Roy Cohn is famous for both appearing in Kushner’s Angels in America and being one of the mentors of who would become the current US president. However, in his time and for historians, Roy Cohn is most famous for being Senator Joseph Mccarthy’s right-hand man in the investigation of suspected communists in the 50s and 60s. In the clip above, which is a trailer to a documentary released in 2019 called “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”, gives insight into this infamous individual and the things that made him who he was. For many, he was the epitome of evil and a highly enigmatic man, and for Kushner, a victim of his own prejudices. The side most people didn’t know about him but came to light after his death and takes to Kushner’s play was his apparent homosexuality. Dying of AIDS in the 80s, Roy Cohn’s secret life became a topic of interest. In the play, Cohn hides his true diagnosis, revealing to everyone he was dying of lung cancer instead, to not reveal his sexual orientation. Moreover, in the play, the ghost that constantly haunts him, Ethel Rosenberg, was, in reality, one of the apparent spies he sends to death and the most famous one due to being executed without any physical evidence of her involvement with the soviets. This appearance kind of highlights this character’s apparent guilt to this execution but in real life, there’s no evidence proving that the real Cohn felt this way. In modern times, due to his close relationship with Trump, interest in him has grown again as proved by this documentary. Yet, the same questions remain about this enigmatic individual, questions still asked over 30 years after his death.

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