Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Joseph Sherbow (1901-1979)
MSA SC 3520-14362
Judge, Baltimore City Supreme Bench, 1944-1952
Delegate, 1967 Constitutional Convention, Baltimore City


Born May 1, 1901.  Admitted to the bar, November 4, 1922.  Married, Sara (Rosenblum) Sherbow; three children, Theodore Sherbow, Arthur D. Sherbow, and Joan E. Winston.  Died, Baltimore, Maryland, December 16, 1979.

Judge, People's Court, 1929-1935.  Fiscal Advisor to Gov. Albert C. Ritchie.  Secretary, Commission on Revenue and Taxes, formed by Gov. Herbert R. O'Conor, 1939.   People's Counsel, Public Service Commission, 1939-1944.  Appointed Judge, Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, May 4, 1944.  As judge, served as voice of reform, and called for an end of competitive judicial elections, which he deemed too political.  Struck down the Maryland Subversive Activities Act, the "Ober law," as unconstitutional.  Chaired Gov. O'Conor's commission on Distribution of Tax Revenue, known as the "Sherbow Commission," 1946-1947.  Resigned from the bench, February 16, 1952.  Practiced in partnership with Edward P. Shea and Charles M. Tatelbaum; one of the state's leading law firms.  As a lawyer, specialized in corporate and public utilities law.  Played a leading role at the 1967 Constitutional Convention.

Judge Sherbow's career included service on the following commissions: Secretary, Commission on Revenue and Taxes, 1939; Chair, Maryland Commission on Distribution of Tax Revenues, 1946-1947; Commission to Study Hospital Costs, 1963-1964; Commission on State Tax Structure, 1969-1971; Chair, Commission on the Function of Government, 1972-1975; Chair, Appellate Judicial Selection Commission, 1970-1975; Commission to Study the Liability of Public Employees, 1977-1979.

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