leslie cochran


Cesar Chavez Traffic Closures

Traffic on Cesar Chavez Street will be disrupted this morning as crews repair a broken water main.

Early this morning, the water main that serves businesses on Cesar Chavez between Brazos Street and Trinity Street burst. Eastbound traffic between Congress Avenue and Red River Street is down to one lane. Westbound traffic will be detoured northbound on Brazos Street, then westbound on Second Street.  

KUT News recently spoke with Debbie Russell, a friend of Leslie Cochran who served as Leslie’s spokesperson during his hospitalization and hospice stay. In the above video, she recounts one of the stories shared on a blog where Leslie’s friends share stories.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/chainsawpanda

An Austin icon has died.

Leslie Cochran, the cross-dressing, homeless citizen who for years was perched at the intersection of Sixth and Congress, passed away in a local hospice overnight.

For about 20 years, Leslie – a bearded man clad in heels, hose and even thongs — was a symbol of Austin weirdness.  His likeness has appeared in everything from ads to refrigerator magnets and countless photos with tourists on Sixth Street. Leslie was homeless – and he relied on tips for posing for those pictures.

He was born in Miami. But it wasn’t until he came to Austin in 1996 that Leslie became, well, Leslie.

Photo courtesy .Shawn McHorse

Leslie Cochran passed away in an Austin hospice overnight.

KUT News spoke with Debbie Russell, a friend and spokesperson for Leslie yesterday. She told us then that “he’s slipping deeper and deeper into unconsciousness, and basically, his organs are shutting down.” And around 1 a.m. last night, Leslie passed on. He had been moved into hospice following a hospitalization in February. 

Leslie Cochran was 60 years old.

Photo courtesy Valerie Romness

Leslie Cochran – a homeless, cross-dressing exemplar of Austin weirdness immortalized in countless stories and photos, plus advertisements, refrigerator magnets, and runs for public office – has “chosen to shuffle off this mortal coil,” according to friends overseeing Cochran’s stay in hospice care.

As KUT News previously reported, Cochran was in intensive care after being found unconscious in a South Austin parking lot approximately two-and-a-half weeks ago. He was transferred to an unnamed hospice facility this weekend, KUT noted yesterday.

Local activist Debbie Russell has served as a family spokesperson. In an update this morning, she writes:

He has chosen to shuffle off this mortal coil, and is doing so in grace and dignity, Leslie-style...as he's done all else in life …

He is comfortable in hospice care (where he is in amazing hands), and is in no pain according to the nurses who monitor him often. He has slipped back into semi-consciousness -for the most part- but we believe he hears his loved ones surrounding him.

Austin Homeless Icon Leslie Transferred to Hospice

Local transgendered celebrity, Leslie Cochran, was transferred out of hospital care and into an area hospice provider this weekend says community activist and friend, Debbie Russell. Russell says Leslie remains in critical condition and is receiving comfort care.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/phrog8v8r

We reported earlier this week on the hospitalization of Leslie Cochran, Austin’s ambassador of weirdness. A spokesperson for Cochran told KUT News that two weeks ago, Cochran was found unconscious in a South Austin parking lot, requiring hospitalization and surgery.

Cochran’s spokesperson and friend Debbie Russell characterized his condition as “wait and see.” Russell says Cochran’s condition had since deteriorated, but then suddenly changed. Russell recounts events from yesterday in an email:  

Photo courtesy flickr.com/chainsawpanda

Contrary to recent reports that transgendered homeless icon Leslie Cochran was moving to Colorado, Leslie is still in Austin. And according to a statement from friends and family, Cochran is currently recuperating in an area hospital.

Local activist Debbie Russell says she is a spokesperson for Cochran and a relative. Russell sent out a release this morning: