Sherman Block

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Sherman Block
Born(1924-07-19)July 19, 1924
DiedOctober 28, 1998(1998-10-28) (aged 74)
Los Angeles, California
Police career
DepartmentLos Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Service years1956–1998

Sherman Block (July 19, 1924 – October 29, 1998) was the 29th Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California from January 1982 until his death. He was preceded by Peter Pitchess and succeeded by Lee Baca.

Block grew up in Chicago and served in the Army in World War II. He majored in engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He moved to Los Angeles and joined the Sheriff's Department in 1956, becoming the first deputy in the department to work his way through every rank to the top.

In 1962, while working as a Sheriff's deputy, Block arrested comedian Lenny Bruce for obscenity, namely using the term "schmuck" during a comedy routine.[1]

During his tenure he became the highest paid elected official in the United States.

In the Live Action Video for Kids/Real Wheels video, "There Goes A Police Car", Block appeared at the end of the video to tell the viewers that police officers and deputy sheriffs are always there to provide safety for their communities. He also encouraged the viewers to visit a police or sheriff's station and practice using the 911 system only in emergencies.

He died during his campaign for re-election, which he was expected to win. He still obtained about one third of the vote, as Lee Baca's opponents wanted the County Supervisors to appoint his successor. Block's death broke the tradition of the incumbent Sheriff selecting his successor.


  1. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (August 5, 1999). "'Lenny' and Me". Jewish Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
Government offices
Preceded by
Peter J. Pitchess
Los Angeles County Sheriff
Succeeded by
Lee Baca