Frank W. Burke

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Frank W. Burke
Frank W. Burke.jpg
Mayor of Louisville
In office
December 1969 – December 1, 1973
Preceded byKenneth A. Schmied
Succeeded byHarvey I. Sloane
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1959 – January 3, 1963
Preceded byJohn M. Robsion, Jr.
Succeeded byGene Snyder
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1920-06-01)June 1, 1920
Louisville, Kentucky
DiedJune 29, 2007(2007-06-29) (aged 87)
Louisville, Kentucky
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Southern California
Xavier University
University of Louisville

Frank Welsh Burke (June 1, 1920 – June 29, 2007) was an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky from 1959 to 1963 and as Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from 1969 to 1973.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Burke was born in Louisville, Kentucky and educated in parochial schools there, graduating from St. Xavier High School. He attended the University of Southern California and received a degree from Xavier University and a law degree from the University of Louisville. He began practicing law in Louisville in 1948. Burke served in the United States Army during World War II. Burke held appointed local offices under mayor Charles R. Farnsley including as assistant city attorney of Louisville in 1950 and 1951, director of public safety of Louisville in 1952, and executive assistant to the Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky in 1952 and 1953.

Political career[edit]

Burke was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives and served there in 1957 and 1958.

In 1958 Burke was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's 3rd District (Louisville). Burke defeated incumbent Republican John M. Robsion, Jr. for the seat. Burke was re-elected to the House seat in 1960 and served from January 3, 1959 to January 3, 1963. Burke won his re-election race by 221 votes.[1] Burke voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1960.[2]

He was defeated in a close race for re-election in 1962 by Gene Snyder; Snyder won 93,627 votes to Burke's 91,062.

In 1969, Republicans had controlled county and city offices in Louisville for eight years. Burke, a Democrat, was elected Mayor of Louisville that year, winning 48,337 votes to Republican John Porter Sawyer's 40,810. Burke served in that office from 1969 to 1973. Burke's priorities included reducing crime; he increased the size of the police force and installed many new street lights and the crime rate in Louisville dropped while Burke was mayor. Burke also increased garbage pickups and the sewers and pushed the construction of the Louisville Belvedere. Burke also instituted a retirement system for city employees. As mayor, he integrated the city's workforce.[1]

Later life[edit]

Burke continued to practice law in Kentucky with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs until 2005. He died in June 2007.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Former Mayor of Louisville, Ky., Dies". The Washington Post. June 30, 2007. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  2. ^ "HR 8601. PASSAGE".

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John M. Robsion, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Gene Snyder
Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth A. Schmied
Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
Succeeded by
Harvey I. Sloane