? The owner-builder of a new $14 million sports palace to be called The Forum.
? Owner of a publishing company that currently is lying doggo, waiting to pick up the right property for the right price. Like, say, the
Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Do not say they won't sell. Everybody sells, sometime.
? Twenty-five-percent owner of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League, with an option—which he will exercise—to buy up control of the team when it becomes available.
? One of the few Canadian emigrants in U.S. history to be granted instant citizenship by an act of Congress.
? An art collector, homebody, admirer of fast cars, judge of good sherry, songwriter, connoisseur of antiques, master of the English language (he can use the word boggle in a sentence) and the kind of guy who would have called for four consecutive passes against Michigan State.
Cooke is natty; he wears tailor-made suits, fragile blue shirts with fadeaway collars and fat knit ties. He is 5 feet 9 or so, and moves across the landscape in flashes. It is because of the urge.
"The combative urge is within all of us," Cooke says, speaking in quick, combative bursts. "For the man whose horse wins the Kentucky Derby, it is his horse. In football or basketball it is my team.
"This is a basic instinct. But God knows, it comes to us in varying degrees. It is a refusal to succumb. Perhaps the source of it is pride. But it moves most men. My combative urge is strong. And remember, it is always open season on successful men."
About that open season. Cooke has not made one move in California that has not been chronicled. One set of special enemies keeps a file on him complete with categories, such as "weaknesses." Cooke knows of this and keeps the same file. He sees them as strengths.
Still, perhaps the only file in town that really counts is the one at the Security First National Bank, and it is confidential. "But we can say," the bank admits, "that a recent file indicates his net worth in eight figures."