Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

James Francis Burke

(1867- )

The Book of Prominent Pennsylvanians 14 (Pittsburgh: Leader Publishing, 1913)

"Burke, James Francis, lawyer, was born, Oct. 21, 1867, at Petroleum Centre, Vetanago co., Penn., of American parentage. His father died in 1875, leaving a widow and three sons, James Francis, John Jay and Edward Clinton Burke. At the age of thirteen young Burke went to Pittsburgh, and obtained employment in a drygoods store. This was not much to his taste, however, and he soon entered the law office of William Scott, general counsel for the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. at Pittsburgh. There he completed a high-school course during the next four years, in the meanwhile studying shorthand under private tutors, with the result that at the age of eighteen he had become one of the most expert stenographers in the United States, and received an appointment as official stenographer of the U.S. court.

He was elected secretary of various legislative commissions in Pennsylvania and official stenographer of the Republican national convention at Minneapolis in 1892. Meantime he carried on his law studies under Lieut.-Gov. Walter Lyon of Pennsylvania, and was graduated at the University of Michigan in 1892. . . . In December, 1893 he began the practice of law in Pittsburgh, and has since won new laurels by his surprising success in a number of famous murder trials, the Blind Pool swindles, and other celebrated cases. . . . Besides being a born politician and stranger to the world 'fail,' he is also a poet of no mean ability." [National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 295 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1897)(vol. 7)][Burke was admitted to the Allegheny county bar in 1893 and practiced law in Pittsburgh until his election to Congress. He was the youngest secretary ever elected by the Republican National Committee. Alexander P. Moore (ed.), The Book of Prominent Pennsylvanians 14 (Pittsburgh: Leader Publishing, 1913)]

James Francis Burke
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Burke A. Hinsdale, History of the University of Michigan with Biographical Sketches of Regents and Members of the University Senate from 1837 to 1906 101 (Ann Arbor: Published by the University, 1906)(Isaac N. Demmon ed.)]