Edward M. Burke, 74, has been alderman of Chicago’s 14th Ward for nearly 50 years, a now-majority Hispanic ward once represented by his father, Joseph P. Burke.
Burke has weathered numerous threats to depose him as chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee by mayors with whom he subsequently reached political accommodation.
He has survived federal investigations that threatened to undercut his power base, once even by blaming a dead man for ghost-payrolling irregularities on his committee payroll.
A Democrat, he’s shrugged off criticism regarding his law firm’s business relationship with one of Republican President Donald Trump’s companies. Burke’s firm, Klafter & Burke, repeatedly has sought to reduce the property taxes that Trump Tower and other commercial properties have to pay.
- Senate President Phil Rock sings while Ald. Ed Burke plays the piano in 1987. | Sun-Times files
- Ed Burke at St. Patricks Day Parade in 1986. | Sun-Times files
- Burke during filming of ice cream commercial in 1990 that was a takeoff on Council Wars. | Sun-Times files
- Ald Edward Burke speaks out against a proposed budget in 1987. | Sun-Times files
- Ed Burke is livid above a gas tax proposal in 1988. | Sun-Times files
- Ed Burke sports one of the flashing Cubs buttons Ed Vrdolyak gave his council chums in 1984. | Sun-Times files
- Ed Burke on council chambers floor after a1987 prayer meeting for the death of Harold Washington. | Sun-Times files
- Ald. Ed Burke is honored by his colleagues in 2009 for 40 years of service as a Chicago alderman. | Sun-Times files
- Mayor Daley presents Burke with a resolution for 40 years of service as a Chicago alderman | Sun-Times files
- Jane Byrne listens to Burke speak during the dedication of the circle interchange to Byrne. | Sun-Times files
- Burke and County Assessor Joe Berrios at a 2017 county Democratic slate-making session. | Sun-Times files
- Burke with Mayor Richard Daley at city council meeting in 2006. | Sun-Times files
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel confers with Ald. Ed Burke at a 2017 City Council meeting. | Sun-Times file photo
- Congressman Mike Quigley and Ald. Ed Burke at the Columbus Day Parade in 2010. | Sun-Times files
- Ald. Ed Burke outside the funeral of actor and ex-Chicago cop Dennis Farina in 2013. | Sun-Times files
- Former Mayor Michael Bilandic wedding photo . | Sun-Times files
- Burke leaves the 2010 memorial service of Officer Thor Soderberg who was killed in the line of duty. | Sun-Times files
- Ed Burke and wife Anne at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics in 2009. | Sun-Times files
Former Ald. Dick Simpson (44th), who served with Burke in the City Council for eight years, ending in 1979, once called him J. Edgar Hoover of City Hall: “He does know where the bodies are buried from being an insider for so long.”
Who is Ed Burke?
Political Office: Alderman, 14th Ward; chairman, Chicago City Council Finance Committee
Education: Undergraduate and law degrees from DePaul University
Occupation: Attorney, Klafter & Burke; member, Chicago City Council; Chicago Police Officer, 1965-68
Books: Co-author of “End of Watch,” about Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty, and “Inside the Wigwam,” about Chicago political conventions
14th Ward Office: 773-471-1414
Personal: Burke is married to Anne Burke, an Illinois Supreme Court justice