Lewis Joseph Valentine

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Lewis Joseph Valentine
Lewis Joseph Valentine (June 1935).jpg
Valentine in June 1935
New York City Police Commissioner
In office
Appointed by Fiorello H. LaGuardia
Preceded by John Francis O'Ryan
Succeeded by Arthur William Wallander
Personal details
Born (1882-03-19)March 19, 1882
Brooklyn, New York
Died December 16, 1946(1946-12-16) (aged 64)
New York City

Lewis Joseph Valentine (March 19, 1882 – December 16, 1946) was the New York City Police Commissioner from 1934 to 1945, under Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia during the Murder, Inc. era. He was the author of an autobiography Night stick: The autobiography of Lewis J. Valentine.[1] He was Police Commissioner of New York for eleven years, longer than any other previous person in that position.[2] Time magazine credited him with cleaning up the department so that New York City had one of the most honest police departments in the nation.[3]

After New York, he led the Tokyo Police Force. [1]


He was born on March 19, 1882. Valentine joined the New York Police Department in 1903, at age 21.[3] He specialized in combatting police corruption attracting the attention of Mayor LaGuardia who appointed him as the city's police commissioner in 1934.[4] He died on December 16, 1946.[2]


  1. ^ "Night stick: The autobiography of Lewis J. Valentine". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Lewis J. Valentine Dies in Hospital, 64.". New York Times. December 17, 1946. Retrieved 2011-05-05. Former Police Commissioner, 42 Years in Department, Had Been Ill Since Japan Trip. Served in Post 1934-45. Helped Reorganize System for MacArthur in East. Known as Stern and Fearless. Succeeded General O'Ryan. Funeral on Thursday. A "Conscientious Cop". Transferred After Contest Named to Commissionership. Cut Traffic Deaths Helped MacArthur in Japan. Lewis J. Valentine, who was Police Commissioner of New York for eleven years, a longer period than any other man had served, died yesterday morning at the age of 64, fifteen months after his retirement from the position. ... 
  3. ^ a b "Gangbuster". Time magazine. September 17, 1945. Retrieved 2010-10-05. Lewis Joseph Valentine has a sweet-sounding name, but he is a tough man. He joined New York's Finest in 1903, at 21, and quietly became an outstanding cop for his day: he was honest. As a result, Valentine's lot was not a happy one. ... 
  4. ^ A. G. Sulzberger (2009-11-11). "La Guardia's Tough and Incorruptible Police Commissioner". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-05. A Brooklyn native, Mr. Valentine joined the department in 1903. It was a period “when to be honest in the Police Department of the City of New York was to have a tough time,” Mr. La Guardia later wrote. In 1934, nine months into Mr. La Guardia’s first term as mayor, Mr. Valentine was elevated to commissioner, charged with cleaning up the department. ... 
Police appointments
Preceded by
John F. O'Ryan
NYPD Commissioner
Succeeded by
Albert O. Williams