David W. Burke

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David Warren Burke (April 3, 1936 – April 18, 2014) was an American news executive and political administrator. He was President of CBS News (1988–90), and later served as an executive at ABC News, where he worked with Peter Jennings and Barbara Walters, among others.[1][2]

Born on April 3, 1936 [3] in Brookline, Massachusetts. Burke was the son of a police officer and grandson of a firefighter. He graduated from Tufts University with a degree in economics. Following Tufts University he began working at Lever Brothers factory mixing soap and loading freight cars. [3] After a year the plant was closed and Burke moved on to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he earned his MBA, he worked for United States Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)as well as for New York Governor Hugh Carey (D-NY), as secretary.[2] One of his college professors, George P. Shultz, helped him get a job at the White House under President John F. Kennedy as executive secretary of the Advisory Committee on Labour-Management Policy. In 1965, Mr. Burke joined Senator Kennedy’s staff as a legislative assistant. Within three weeks he was shepherding legislation to abolish the poll tax and liberalize immigration. The next year, he became administrative assistant, the top job in a Senate office. [3]


Burke died at a hospital in Medford, Massachusetts on April 18, 2014,[4] aged 78. He had vascular dementia.[5] He was survived by his wife of more than a half century, Beatrice C. "Trixie" (née Pollock) Burke, their five children, his sister Constance, and a large extended family.[6]


  1. ^ CBS New Division President Is to Announce His Departure, New York Times; accessed April 20, 2014.
  2. ^ a b David Burke, former CBS News chief, dies at 78, CBS News; accessed April 20, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Martin, Douglas (April 26, 2014). "David W. Burke, Trusted Aide to Powerful Men, Dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Profile, legacy.com; accessed April 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Notice of death, nytimes.com, April 26, 2014; accessed May 1, 2014.
  6. ^ Former CBS News President David Burke Dies, Worldnews.com; accessed April 20, 2014.