Sala Burton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sala Burton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 5th district
In office
June 21, 1983 – February 1, 1987
Preceded byPhillip Burton
Succeeded byNancy Pelosi
Personal details
Sala Galante

(1925-04-01)April 1, 1925
Białystok, Podlaskie, Poland
DiedFebruary 1, 1987(1987-02-01) (aged 61)
Washington, D. C., U.S.
Resting placePresidio of San Francisco
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Irving Lipschultz
(m. 1953; died 1983)
RelativesJohn Burton (brother-in-law)

Sala Burton (née Galante; April 1, 1925 – February 1, 1987) was a Polish-born American politician who served as a United States Representative from California from 1983 until her death from colon cancer in Washington, D. C., in 1987.

Early life and education[edit]

She was born Sala Galante into a Jewish family in Białystok, Poland, on April 1, 1925.[1] The family immigrated to the US in 1939, before the German invasion of Poland,[2] and she attended public schools in San Francisco and then the University of San Francisco.[1]


She was the associate director of the California Public Affairs Institute from 1948 to 1950. She was the vice president of the California Democratic Council from 1951 to 1954. She served as president of the San Francisco Democratic Women's Forum from 1957 to 1959.

Burton served as the representative from California's 5th congressional district, which at that time was a portion of the city of San Francisco. She served from the time of her first election in 1983 until her death in 1987.

Burton served as a delegate to Democratic National Conventions, 1956, 1976, 1980, and 1984. She was elected as a Democrat to the 98th Congress by special election on June 21, 1983, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, United States Representative Phillip Burton.[3]

She was reelected to the two succeeding Congress terms and mentored her successor and future Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who replaced Burton after her death in 1987.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Galante married Irving Lipschultz. Together, they had one daughter, Joy.[2] They divorced in 1951.[2] Galante met her second husband Phillip Burton at a California Young Democrats convention in 1950. They were married from 1953 until Phillip Burton's death in 1983. They raised her daughter, Joy, together.[1] Phillip & Sala Burton High School, on the site of the former Woodrow Wilson High School in San Francisco, is named after the couple.

Death and succession[edit]

Burton died from colon cancer on February 1, 1987, in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio.[1][5] She was succeeded in the resultant special election in the 5th congressional district by Nancy Pelosi, who has represented similar California districts ever since.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "BURTON, Sala Galante". U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Irving, Carl (1983-04-12). "Warmth, savvy among Sala Burton's political assets". San Francisco Examiner. p. 2. Retrieved 2021-08-29 – via open access
  3. ^ Gamarekian, Barbara; Times, Special To the New York (1983-07-29). "WORKING PROFILE; 'THE POPULAR BURTON' AND HER MISSION". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  4. ^ Ferris, Sarah (2022-11-17). "Pelosi's precision: How 35 years in Congress shaped the end of her reign". POLITICO.
  5. ^ "Rep. Sala Burton, Who Replaced Husband in Congress, Dies at 61". Los Angeles Times. 1987-02-02. Retrieved 2022-11-29.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Phillip Burton (d. April 19, 1983)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 5th congressional district

June 21, 1983 – February 1, 1987
Succeeded by