James A. Burke (New York City politician)
Burke was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1890 but was orphaned when he was 8 years old. After high school he took night classes at New York University while he worked. In 1914 he moved to Queens, where he became active in many civic organizations. During the first World War he worked as a civilian at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, eventually becoming superintendent of stock in charge of $60 million worth of supplies.
After the war, he had various jobs in purchasing and accounting. He had leadership positions in two Queens civic organizations. In 1930, he won his first political office, being elected to the New York State Assembly. While there, he championed Queens issues, including the construction of the Grand Central Parkway. In 1934, he was elected to the city's Board of Alderman.
In 1941, he won election as borough president of Queens, beating Republican incumbent George U. Harvey. While in office, he focused on transportation and taxes in the borough. He won two terms to the office, and resigned in 1949. He did not seek any further political offices.
He died in his Little Neck home in 1965.
- "Burke Long a Civic Leader". The New York Times. November 5, 1941.
- "James Burke, 76, Ex-Queens Chief". The New York Times. September 14, 1965.
- "'Little Man' Key to Burke Election". The New York Times. November 6, 1941.
George U. Harvey
|Borough President of Queens
Maurice A. FitzGerald