leslie cochran Austins Cross Dressing, Often Homeless Icon Dies

Austin icon Leslie Cochran. (Photo credit Johanna McShan Photography via Wikimedia)

AUSTIN (AP) – A cross-dressing, often homeless man who became something of a local icon in Austin has died.

Valerie Romness says her friend Leslie Cochran died shortly after midnight Thursday of complications from a brain injury. Cochran was 60.

An unofficial motto in Texas’ capital city is “Keep Austin Weird,” and Cochran exemplified it like no one else. Cochran was known to cruise around downtown for years in tiaras, dresses and women’s underwear. He became the butt of politicians’ jokes and the man posing next to countless tourists in photos.

Cochran ran for mayor multiple times, promising to plant more trees and wear more conservative dresses to “respect the office.”

His friends plan to gather later Thursday at Austin City Hall for a parade in his honor.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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