Block was born in 1941 in Brooklyn to Abraham Block, a CPA, and Ruth Block, a paralegal. He did his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn College where he fell under the influence of the libertarian doctrines after a personal meeting with Ayn Rand. Block earned his PhD in Economics from Columbia University where he became interested in the Austrian School of economics.
Professor Block is a skilled handball player and an avid swimmer. He is married to Mary Beth Block, a Columbia University alumnus trained as a social worker. Professor Block lives with his wife and his dog, Lill. He has a daughter, Hannah, who is currently pursuing a doctorate at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His son, Matthew, is a highly placed computer programmer at Microsoft.
Professor Block now holds the Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair in Economics at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a leading authority in his field.