Bainbridge Avenue

Sherman Jewitt Bainbridge (1890-1950) led a storied life. A Brooklyn boy who came to Los Angeles with his widowed mother and brother in 1894, he married Cleora Oder (1886-1966) in 1910 and they had one daughter, Marjorie. He then entered the new field of motion picture acting and racked up over ninety silent film credits until 1917, when he switched to live theatre. In the 1920s, Bainbridge got into the real estate boom and worked first as salesman, then as publicist, for the Janss Investment Co., developers of Westwood and Holmby Hills. They named this street for him in 1926. Then came the third act of Bainbridge’s life, when the Great Depression alerted him to the plight of impoverished seniors and he took on the cause of pension reform. Through his own radio show and public lectures, he spoke for a group promoting the California Pension Plan, nicknamed the “Ham and Eggs Movement”, in which every CA resident over 50 would receive $30 every Thursday in scrip. Alas, the group was crippled by internal drama – Bainbridge was the only key player with no personal agenda – and voters rejected the proposition in 1938. Bainbridge later fought for the Townsend Plan, another pension scheme based in Chicago, but spent his final years back in SoCal.