The Mob Museum Spotlights NEW Ralph Lamb Exhibit

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Museum Officials, Tourism Executives to Inaugurate Exhibition on Tuesday, May 6, 3:45 p.m. on Museum’s Front Steps at National Tourism Week Rally

 Lamb rides in the Helldorado Parade, 1969 (courtesy Metro Museum).
Lamb rides in the Helldorado Parade, 1969 (courtesy Metro Museum).

Ralph Lamb, arguably Las Vegas’ most legendary law enforcement figure, will be celebrated with a new exhibition, The Cowboy Sheriff, at The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement. Lamb will join Museum officials and tourism industry representatives in inaugurating the exhibition at a press conference on Tuesday, May 6, preceding the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual National Travel and Tourism Week rally, to be held on the Museum’s front steps that day at 3:45 p.m. Following the rally, media and rally participants will get a sneak peek of the new exhibition, which opens to the public on Wednesday, May 7. The afternoon will conclude with a celebration on Downtown3rd, featuring appetizers and signature drinks from the restaurants at Downtown Grand and Pizza Rock.

Objects on display will include historic photographs, a belt buckle, handcuffs, a Colt .38 revolver, Lamb’s cowboy hat, boots, a Winchester .30-30 rifle, an award medallion, a custom bridle bit and a saddle. Items have been loaned to the Museum by the Metro Museum as well as Lamb and private collectors.

From 1961-1979, Sheriff Ralph Lamb enforced the law in Las Vegas, a city teeming with organized crime. Having grown up on a ranch in rural Nevada, Lamb brought an old-school approach to the job. He was not above getting physical with hoodlums to make sure they followed the rules.

Lamb developed an extensive network of tipsters who let him know when gangsters were in town. Los Angeles Mob boss Johnny Rosselli was among those who received a dose of the sheriff’s frontier justice. In 1966, Lamb let Rosselli know who was in charge by roughing him up in a crowded casino and throwing him in jail.

When Lamb learned that a planeload of reputed mobsters was flying in from Kansas City, he and his deputies detained the group at the airport and sent them home.

Although Lamb was known as “the Cowboy Sheriff,” the community’s first modern crime lab and SWAT team were established during his watch. He also led the effort to merge the Las Vegas Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Department in 1973, creating the current Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

In 1984, Lamb joined a high-powered group of Las Vegas leaders who bid to move the annual National Finals Rodeo from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas. The competition has been held here ever since.

Ralph Lamb’s legendary 18-year tenure as Clark County sheriff inspired the 2012-13 television drama, “Vegas,” starring Dennis Quaid.

Artifacts After Hours

On Thursday, May 8, from 7–9 p.m., the Museum will present “Artifacts After Hours,” a Museum Members-only presentation series designed to give members an inside look at the Museum’s extraordinary collection. At this event, Museum staff will lead a presentation about Sheriff Lamb and The Cowboy Sheriff exhibition. The event is free for Members and $5 for their guest (one guest per member, please).

For general information about the Museum, its exhibitions, special programming, event rentals and admission, please call (702) 229-2734 or visit


The Mob Museum is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to the thrilling story of organized crime and law enforcement. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world. True stories of Mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits, high-tech theater presentations and more than 600 artifacts, the largest collection of Mob and related law enforcement memorabilia under one roof. Since opening in 2012, The Mob Museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including being named one of “20 Places Every American Should See” by Fox News and Budget Travel magazine, “Las Vegas’ Best New Attractions for 2012” by Travel + Leisure magazine, “9 Reasons to Visit Las Vegas” by CNNgo, a finalist for the “Best Wider World Project Award,” by the British Guild of Travel Writers and “Best Museum” by Nevada Magazine and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Admission is $19.95 for adults ages 18 and over with special pricing for children, seniors, military, law enforcement, Nevada residents, and teachers. Museum hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, call (702) 229-2734 or visit Connect on Facebook: and on Twitter: @TheMobMuseum.

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