Julie Goldberg, 85, wasn’t one of those hardened cops. He made everyone feel important.
The World War II veteran, boxer and outdoors enthusiast died on Friday.
“He was a cop’s cop,” said Dan Rivers, a friend and retired officer. “He was always cordial and always seemed to have a level head. He always had the presence of an all-around good cop.”
Goldberg retired from the Las Vegas police department after 42 years of capturing fugitives.
Goldberg was born Dec. 23, 1927, in Manhattan. His parents died when he was 3 years old, and he and his two brothers went into foster care.
He had a rough time of it but chose the right path in life, his family said.
When officials said he was too young to serve in World War II, at the age of 15, he used a 17-year-old friend’s birth certificate to enlist.
He moved to Las Vegas in the early ’50s, lived in his car for a while and worked as a bartender before then-Sheriff John Moran talked him into joining the police force.
“He was a kind, good man. If he couldn’t help you, he certainly didn’t hurt you,” said Janie Goldberg, his wife of 52 years. They met in 1962, and Goldberg adopted her young children to raise as his own.
Rivers, a teen at the time, met Goldberg in the ’50s and attributes his career choice to the man.
“The first time you met Julie, you felt like you had a really good friend,” he said.
Goldberg also loved riding dune buggies and working out. He was 1989’s Boxing Hall of Fame Man of the Year.
He was one of the officials who rushed to the stage when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997.
“He never had a macho attitude or anything like that. He came home and acted goofy, like any other dad,” said Janie Silvaggio, his daughter.
“I’m always so proud of him. I can’t think of a better person to look up to. He was my hero,” she said.
Goldberg’s death came a week before the year anniversary of the death of his son, Joseph.