Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Wed, 10.05.1932

Yvonne Burke, Lawyer, and Politician born

Yvonne Burke

Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was born on this date in 1932. She is a Black politician and lawyer.

Yvonne Watson Perle (her name at birth) was born in Los Angeles, CA, where she grew up in the public school system. 1953 she received her B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1956, Burke received her J.D. from the University of Southern California School, after which she began private practice.  Burke also served as deputy corporation commissioner and hearing officer for the Los Angeles Police Commission. Later Burke served as an attorney for the McCone Commission.

She was elected to the California State legislature in 1967 and served until 1972, a first for a Black woman in the state. Burke was also a delegate to Democratic National Convention in 1972 and was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-third and the two succeeding Congresses (1973- 1979). She did not run for reelection in 1978 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for State Attorney General of California.

1979 she was appointed to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Burke was elected a Los Angeles County Supervisor in 1992.  In 2008, she wrote this, which was posted on the LA County website:

As you may know by now, I will be retiring at the end of this year after serving nearly 16 years representing the 2.5 million district residents.  I want to say that it has truly been both an honor and pleasure serving you, as I conclude over three decades of public service.  On behalf of my staff, thank you for your tremendous support. -- Yvonne B. Burke

Burke is married to William A. Burke, a Los Angeles businessman, and has a daughter, Autumn, and a step-daughter, Christine Burke.

To Become a Political Scientist



University of Southern California
Regional Cultural History Collection, Department of Special Collections, Doheny Memorial Library.
Los Angeles, CA

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

From deep sleep I sat upright And clutched his new lapels, For he was laughing. Back from the dead He came, I say, Laughing I asked not "Are you not dead?" But "What is it?" His talcum chin, And pebbles eyes, And... NIGHTMARE by James Emanuel.
Read More