J. Herbert Burke

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J. Herbert Burke

J. Herbert Burke (January 14, 1913 – June 16, 1993) was a Republican U.S. Representative from Florida who served from 1967 to 1979.

He was born in Chicago Illinois, where he attended the public schools, the defunct Central YMCA College, and then Northwestern University in nearby Evanston, Illinois. He graduated in 1940 from Kent College of Law in Chicago.

Burke served in the United States Army in the European Theatre from 1942 to 1945, was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the European Theater Medal, and the American Theater Ribbon, and was discharged with the rank of captain.

He was admitted to the bar in 1940 and practiced in Chicago from 1940 to 1949, and in Hollywood, Florida, from 1949 to 1968. In 1952, Burke was elected Republican commissioner in Broward County and served in that capacity until 1967. He was a Republican State committeeman from 1954 to 1958. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Eighty-fourth Congress in a special election held on January 11, 1955.

Burke served as delegate to Republican National Conventions in 1968, 1972, and 1976. In 1968, he was a member of the Republican Platform Committee. In 1956, he was appointed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Southeastern Advisory Board of Small Business.

Burke was elected to the Ninetieth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1979).

On May 27, 1978, Burke was arrested at the Centerfold Bar in Dania, Florida, on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest. Burke claimed he had come to the club in an attempt to prevent a narcotics deal. He later pleaded guilty to the charges and nolo contendere to an additional charge of witness tampering and sentenced to three months of probation and a $177.50 fine. The incident later became the basis for the novel Strip Tease, which was later made into a film starring Burt Reynolds and Demi Moore.

After the arrest, Burke was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1978 to the Ninety-sixth Congress. He resided in Falls Church, Virginia, and Fern Park, Florida, until his death in 1993 in Altamonte Springs in Seminole County, Florida.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.