Sheinbaum gets a birthday kiss from Jane Fonda a few years ago. Photo: JaneFonda.com
From his home on Rockingham Avenue in Brentwood, where he and his wife Betty hosted countless salons and strategy meetings, Stanley Sheinbaum played a key role in conversations and events that led to major changes. Sheinbaum died Monday at home. He was 96.
Sheinbaum was the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission in the stormy era after the beating of Rodney King and the 1992 riots. During the Vietnam War, he collaborated with journalist Robert Scheer to expose CIA activities in the United States, and helped support Scheer's Ramparts magazine. Sheinbaum was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and twice ran for Congress as a peace candidate. He served as a UC regent for 12 years and took on many other roles.
From the LA Times obituary:
In the 1960s he engineered the release of Andreas Papandreou, the Greek leader who had been imprisoned by a military junta. In the 1970s he was the chief fundraiser for Daniel Ellsberg’s defense in the Pentagon Papers trial. In the 1980s he led a delegation of American Jewish leaders who persuaded Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat to renounce terrorism and accept Israel as a state....
He often took stands that invited outrage. When he was photographed shaking hands with Arafat, fellow Jews called him a traitor and a dead pig was thrown on his driveway. When he criticized the Los Angeles Police Department, he rankled Gates, who called him “a pain in the ass.”
“He had courage,” said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), who met the peripatetic advocate in the 1970s before she held political office. “I don’t know anyone who is basically a volunteer activist who played the role Stanley has.”
His fortune gave him the freedom to agitate and aggravate. A child of the Depression who trained as an economist at Stanford University, he gained his wealth through marriage to Betty Warner, the daughter of movie mogul Harry Warner, and doubled it through shrewd investment.
He belonged to the “Malibu Mafia,” a small group of socially conscious Westside moguls, including Lear and Max Palevsky, who channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars into progressive causes and candidates. George McGovern, John Anderson, Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton were among the politicians who relied on Sheinbaum’s support.
His 2012 memoir was "Stanley K. Sheinbaum: A 20th Century Knight’s Quest for Peace, Civil Liberties and Economic Justice.” Sheinbaum more recently hosted a conversation with Bernie Sanders.
Mayor Eric Garceti said on Twitter: "Mourning the passing of Stanley Sheinbaum a tireless advocate for justice, equality, & democracy. LA and the world are better from his work."