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The Honorable Lillian Burke

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Information about The Honorable Lillian Burke

Profile image of The Honorable Lillian Burke

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Municipal Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
And What Does The Lord Require Of Thee?

Birthplace

Born:
8/2/1917
Birth Location:
Upson County, Georgia

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Municipal Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
And What Does The Lord Require Of Thee?

Birthplace

Born:
8/2/1917
Birth Location:
Upson County
See how The Honorable Lillian Burke is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Attorney and retired judge Lillian Walker Burke was born in 1915, and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, Burke attended Ohio State University, where she received her bachelor's of science degree in education in 1947. In 1951, she received her law degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, now part of Cleveland State University, and was admitted to the Ohio Bar.

While pursuing her law degree, Burke worked as a teacher in the Cleveland Public Schools. After graduating from law school, Burke served three years as the assistant attorney general, specializing in workmen's compensation. Burke was later appointed to the Ohio Industrial Commission by Governor James Rhodes, and served in that capacity for three years. Burke became the first African American woman to sit on the bench in the State of Ohio with her appointment to the Cleveland Municipal Court in January 1969; she was later elected to that office in November 1969, where she served until her retirement in 1987.

Judge Burke worked with a number of community organizations and voluntary associations, including The Cleveland Restoration Society; the City Planning Commission; the Landmark Commission; The Cleveland Foundation African American Outreach Advisory Committee; the National Council of Negro Women; the City Club; the NAACP; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Burke also established the Lillian Walker Burke Scholarship for students attending the John Marshall College of Law.

Burke passed away on March 27, 2012 at age 94.

See how The Honorable Lillian Burke is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Lillian Burke's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lillian Burke lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her mother and father's roots in Upson County, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her immediate family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lillian Burke remembers her grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes her mother and the beautiful tables she set
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about life during the Great Depression in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her childhood activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes the lack of African American role models when she was growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lillian Burke remembers her encouraging fifth grade teacher
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lillian Burke remembers her home economics class at Duquesne Junior High in Duquesne, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes her love of reading and surprising her class with her knowledge of the New York Stock Exchange
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lillian Burke reflects upon her experiences at Duquesne Junior High in Duquesne, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about reading and playing music as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her music education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes her work on Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks her concern about the education system in Duquesne, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes playing basketball at Duquesne High School in Duquesne, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lillian Burke remembers playing basketball with students as a substitute teacher in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes going to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and her difficulty finding housing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes her various jobs while earning her degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her teaching career in Cleveland, Ohio after graduating from The Ohio State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes studying for and taking the Ohio Bar Exam, pt.1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes studying for and taking the Ohio Bar Exam, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about meeting her husband, and being reunited with her son after taking the Ohio Bar Exam
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lillian Burke recalls her husband's death and her relationship with her son
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about working on the Ohio Industrial Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about having to commute to Columbus, Ohio while serving on the Ohio Industrial Commission
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her early law career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes being appointed the first African American woman municipal court judge in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes the support she received after being elected municipal court judge in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about the dean Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and her classmate HistoryMaker Stanley Tolliver, Sr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about serving on the Commission on Accreditation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her work with The Cleveland Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about organizations she is involved in
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her continuing education and working with former mayor of Cleveland, Ohio Michael R. White
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lillian Burke recalls the working relationships she had with different Cleveland, Ohio political leaders
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes other African American women judges in Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lillian Burke recalls well-known figures from Pittsburgh and Duquesne, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lillian Burke describes her greatest accomplishments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about the work she has been involved in since her retirement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lillian Burke reflects upon being a beneficiary of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about her son and Thurgood Marshall
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about the future of affirmative action and gives advice to those who hope to work in law
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lillian Burke talks about how proud she is of her family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lillian Burke narrates her photographs