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The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

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Information about The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

Profile image of The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Grapefruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mexico
Favorite Quote:
It is going to be alright.

Birthplace

Born:
10/5/1932
Birth Location:
Los Angeles, California

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congresswoman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Grapefruit
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mexico
Favorite Quote:
It is going to be alright.

Birthplace

Born:
10/5/1932
Birth Location:
Los Angeles
See how The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

In the course of her long public service career, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke has made significant contributions to improve the quality of life for minorities, women and the poor. Burke’s college education began at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949. She transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, in her junior year. In 1956, Burke received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School, graduating in the top third of her class. In law school, when Burke was refused admission to the women’s law society, she and two Jewish female law students started a rival organization. She also played a key role in organizing a legal defense team for those charged in the Watts Riots in 1965 and was soon appointed by the governor to the McCone Commission to investigate the causes of the riots.

Burke’s political career began in 1966 with her election as the first African American assemblywoman, representing the 63rd Assembly District of California. She served for three terms. Throughout her tenure in the California legislature, she was an ardent supporter of prison reform, childcare, equal opportunities for minorities and women, and education. Burke grew frustrated with the unresponsiveness of the state legislature and successfully campaigned for a seat in California’s 37th Congressional District in 1973. This gave Burke the distinction of being the first African American female elected to the U.S. Congress from California.

Burke served as Los Angeles County supervisor for the Second District, a position she has held since 1992. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Burke has focused her efforts on improving the lives of children, encouraging economic development and improving transportation in Los Angeles. Burke held this position until her retirement in 2008.

Burke has amassed numerous distinctions and honors throughout her public service career. She became the first African American female to serve as chairperson of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in 1993. She was vice chairperson of the 1972 Democratic National Convention, past chairman of the L.A. Federal Reserve Bank and vice chairman of the 1984 U.S. Olympics Organizing Committee. Time named Burke one of America’s 200 Future Leaders, and she was selected Woman of the Year by both the Los Angeles Times and UCLA.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's Favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of the colleges she attended
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks more about family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke describes her mother's life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks about her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke reminisces of being an only child
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks of her birthname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke explains what she was like as a young person
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Yyonne Brathwaite Burke describes growing up in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells about living restrictions for minorities in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Yvonee Brathwaite Burke explains segregation in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of her father's job at MGM
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of her family and family outtings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists what traits she took from her parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about African American Indians
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke describes her career aspirations as a youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells about UC Berkeley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists the many jobs she during school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about being accepted and modeling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke experiences racism
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks of how she got into USC
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells how she was accepted into a women's law society at USC
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Yvonee Brathwaite Burke leaves college, starts work
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks of her first marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke leaves the California Department of Corporations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke explains the picture on her office wall
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke tells of the difficult times in 1968
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks on how she came to run for office
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's reflects on professional women
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke discusses the importance of lawyers in civil rights
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke lists issues she campaigned on
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about her mother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke talks about Barbara Jordan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke runs for Congress
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke on the 1972 campaign
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke goes to Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke goes to Congress, has baby
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke returns to law
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke is elected to the Board of Supervisors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke enjoys her position on the Board of Supervisors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks about the Congressional Black Caucus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's opinion on today's African American generation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke again speaks about the CBC
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and a new direction for the CBC
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Yvonne Brathwiate-Burke on the importance of politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke on the future of the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke speaks on interests outside of her career, marriage
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's hopes for her children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's luck
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke discusses those she admires professionally
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with her staff at her law office, Los Angeles, California, 1963
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with other California politicial leaders, ca. 1972-1973
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with entertainers and politicians on the steps of the Capitol, Washington, D.C., ca. 1975
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and her husband at the wedding of Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Gordy, December, 1973
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and others being greeted by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Washington, D.C., 1993.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Coretta Scott King, 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and her staff, Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C., ca. 1974-1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, Anaheim, California, 1968
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with former California Governor, Ronald Reagan, ca. 1967-1975
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Dr. Henry Kissinger, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and Los Angeles, California Mayor Tom Bradley, ca. 1980s-1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 18 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and the Congressional Black Caucus, Washington, D.C., ca. 1974-1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 19 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke receives a kiss from former U.S. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey
  • Tape: 5 Story: 20 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with singer Ray Charles and Kenneth Hahn, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 21 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke giving the 'thumbs up', Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 22 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke with United Farm Workers union activist, Cesar Chavez and others, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 23 - Photo - Yvonne Brathwaite Burke's staff at the Los Angeles County Supervisor's Office, Los Angeles, California, 1999
  • Tape: 5 Story: 24 - Photo - Painting of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke