Henry Burns

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Henry Burns, see Henry Burns (disambiguation).
Henry Lee Burns
Louisiana House of Representatives District 9 (Bossier Parish)
Assumed office
January 14, 2008
Preceded by Billy Montgomery
Personal details
Born (1947-03-02) March 2, 1947 (age 68)
Political party Democrat- turned-Republican in 2006
Alma mater Northwestern State University

Pepperdine University

Occupation Bakery owner; Horse breeder
(1) In addition to his work as a Louisiana state representative, Burns operates the Wooden Spoon bakery in Bossier City and is a thoroughbred owner and breeder.

(2) Burns has an educational background and served for fifteen years as a Democrat on the Bossier Parish School Board.

(3) Burns switched to the Republican Party to run for the legislature and emerged victorious in the 2007 nonpartisan blanket primary by only eighty-seven votes.

Henry Lee Burns (born March 2, 1947) is Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 9 in Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He also owns and operates the Wooden Spoon bakery in Bossier City and is a thoroughbred owner and breeder.[1]


A former member of the Bossier Parish School Board and a well-known area raconteur, Burns often lectures at public schools on the keys to success in life, with emphasis on perseverance.

Until the late 1980s, Burns was an independent petroleum and natural gas operator. When the business failed, he launched his bakery despite the odds against success and his having to learn the business from scratch. "I went from crude oil to Crisco oil," Burns said, noting that his accountant, bankers, and attorney told him that he had too much debt for his venture to succeed. Nevertheless, the Wooden Spoon had some success: "No one knew I was down and out because I had a smile on my face and never stopped." Burns said that the bakery succeeded because "people respond to cookies . . . [as] a reminder of their childhood."[2]

Burns received his Bachelor of Arts degree in upper elementary education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and his Master of Arts in education administration from Pepperdine University, a Churches of Christ institution in Malibu, California.[1]

Military service[edit]

Burns retired from the United States Army, with the rank of lieutenant colonel and was commissioned as a second lieutenant by then U.S. Representative Joe D. Waggonner on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

From 1971 to 1974, he earned his military branch assignment at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland as an Ordnance Officer with the "Bomb Squad". He remained there as an instructor with the United States Navy station. There he instructed joint service personnel, allied forces, NATO forces, foreign nationals, and FBI and CIA officers on such subjects as military munitions, clandestine devices, embassy and presidential securi, and special weapons. There he received the Navy Commendation Medal. From 1974 to 1977, Burns transferred to Hawaii as a special weapons officer, served as a branch chief, and received the Army Commander Medal. From 1978-1979, he joined the United States Army Reserves in Livonia, Michigan, where he served as company commander for a Prisoner of War Camp. From 1979 to 1997, Burns served in the 4th Brigade, 95th Division and 4158th USAR School.

Burns was activated in 1987 and 1989 to serve as the Ops Officer for Lone Ironman I and II, a test to verify readiness training conducted at Fort Polk near Leesville, Louisiana. Burns also received the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest peacetime medal for duty performance.

Political career[edit]

As a Democrat, Burns served fifteen years on the school board. In 1998, he ran third as a Democrat in the nonpartisan blanket primary for Bossier Parish property tax assessor; the victor in the ensuing general election was Republican Bobby W. Edmiston.[3]

Burns switched parties in 2006 and entered the legislative race vacated by the term-limited Billy Montgomery, who ran instead, unsuccessfully, for the Louisiana State Senate, having lost to former State Representative B.L. "Buddy" Shaw of Shreveport. Burns won Montgomery's House seat by eighty-seven votes in the primary held on October 20, 2007. In the GOP-oriented district, Burns defeated fellow Republican Richey Jackson, also of Haughton and an employee of the Bossier-Webster District Attorney's office, 5,225 (50.4 percent) to 5,138 (49.6 percent).[4]

Burns is a member of these committees: (1) Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development; (2) Natural Resources and Environment; and (3) Transportation, Highways and Public Works. He is also affiliated with the Louisiana Rural Caucus.[5]

Burns was unopposed for his second term in the House in the primary election held on October 22, 2011.

In addition to Henry Burns, a second "Burns" serves in the Louisiana House, Republican Timothy G. "Tim" Burns, a tax attorney from Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish in the New Orleans suburbs.


  1. ^ a b "Representative Henry L. Burns". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 24, 2008. 
  2. ^ "State Representative offers students encouragement", Shreveport Times, December 3, 2008
  3. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 3, 1998
  4. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Primary election returns, October 20, 2007
  5. ^ "Louisiana House of Representatives website, Henry L. Burns". Louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 24, 2008. 
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Billy Montgomery
Louisiana State Representative from District 9 (Bossier Parish)

Henry Lee Burns

Succeeded by