Sala Burton

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Sala Burton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 5th district
In office
June 21, 1983 – February 1, 1987
Preceded by Phillip Burton
Succeeded by Nancy Pelosi
Personal details
Born Sala Galante
(1925-04-01)April 1, 1925
Białystok, Poland
Died February 1, 1987(1987-02-01) (aged 61)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Phillip Burton
(m. 1953; d. 1983)
Relatives John Burton (brother-in-law)

Sala Galante Burton (April 1, 1925 – February 1, 1987) was a United States Representative from California serving from 1983 until her death from colon cancer in Washington, D.C. in 1987. She was the first female member of Congress to die in office.

Life and career[edit]

She was born Sala Galante in Białystok, Poland. She attended public schools in San Francisco and University of San Francisco. 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 a delegate to Democratic National Conventions, 1956, 1976, 1980, and 1984. She was elected as a Democrat to the 98th Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, United States Representative Phillip Burton. She was reelected to the two succeeding Congress terms.

Personal life[edit]

Galante met her future 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 a daughter from Galante's previous marriage that ended in divorce.[1] Phillip & Sala Burton High School, on the site of the former Woodrow Wilson High School in San Francisco, is named after the couple.

She died from colon cancer on February 1, 1987, in Washington, D.C. and was buried in the Presidio of San Francisco.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BURTON, Sala Galante". U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian. Retrieved January 11, 2018. 

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
Nancy Pelosi