Carl Burke Papers, 1944-1986, 2008

Overview of the Collection

Carl Burke Papers
1944-1986, 2008 (inclusive)
8.75 linear feet, (8 boxes)
Collection Number
MSS 057
Correspondence, staff memos, travel itineraries, financial records, and other papers, chiefly relating to Idaho politics and Burke's work as campaign manager for Frank Church's 1956, 1962, 1968, 1974, and 1980 U.S. Senate campaigns and Church's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination, 1976.
Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
1910 University Drive
Boise ID
Telephone: 2084263990
Access Restrictions

Portions of the collection listed below are available for research. See an archivist for more information concerning other parts of the collection, which may have restrictions.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Carl Prosser Burke was born December 30th, 1924 in Boise, Idaho. While attending Boise High School he became friends with future four-term Senator Frank Church. When the two were still in high school Burke ran a successful campaign to elect Frank Church as student body present. Later Carl Burke would manage all of Frank Church's campaigns in the Senate and his 1976 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Both Church and Burke studied law at Stanford University and established law practices in Boise, Idaho. While Church turned to politics as a career, Burke remained practicing law except when acting as Church's campaign manager.

Mr. Burke served in World War II with the 44th Division, 114th Infantry Regiment, where he fought in France, Germany, and Austria, receiving the Combat Infantry Badge, the Presidential Unit citation, the Purple Heart, and the European Theatre Badge. Upon returning from the war, he married Carolyn Spicer in 1949 and received his law degree from Stanford in 1950. He married Gisela Lubben in 1977.

Carl P. Burke joined his father in the law firm of Elam & Burke, which became one of the largest law firms in Idaho. Burke served as president of the Boise Bar Association and in 1976 received the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Idaho Bar Association. Federal offices held by Carl Burke include serving as one of the first federal law clerks in Idaho in 1950, working under Governor Chase Clark, serving as counsel for the United States Office of Price Stabilization, and when Idaho's Cecil Andrus was serving as President Carter's Secretary of the Interior Carl Burke was appointed to the United States National Parks Systems Advisory Board, a board that he served on for six years, sometimes as chairperson.

Carl Prosser Burke passed away on June 29, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Most of this collection pertains to Frank Church's Senate elections of 1962, 1968, 1974, and 1980 as well as Frank Church's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1976. The election files comprise materials relating to fundraising, receipts and expenditures, travel itineraries, staff memos, and voter surveys. There is also some Burke correspondence with other Idaho and national political figures 1952-1971.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[item description], Carl Burke Papers, Box [number] Folder [number], Boise State University Special Collections and Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mr. Carl P. Burke, 1986 with additions in 2011 from both Cameron Burke and Garry Wenske of the Frank Church Institute.

Related Materials

See also Frank Church Papers, Fred H. Hutchison Papers, and LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer Collection on Frank Church.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, Early Church / Burke 1944-1949
1 2-18 Correspondence 1952-1971
1 19-27 Correspondence, Personal 1953-1986
1 28-32 National Park Service 1979-1982
1 33 Photographs undated
2 1-4 1962 Campaign 1962
2 5-8 1968 Campaign 1968
2 9 Idaho for Church Committee 1968-1972
2 10-34 1974 Campaign 1974
2 35-38 1976 Campaign 1976
3 1-20 1976 Campaign 1976
7 1976 Campaign, Record Album of Presidential Announcement 1976
3 21-33 1980 Campaign 1980
4 1-19 1980 Campaign 1980
4 20 Campaign Memorabilia undated
4 21 Address Book undated
4 22 Speech at Gridiron Dinner, Indiana 1958
4 23 Volunteer Sign In Book undated
4 24 Democratic National Convention 1960
4 24 Miscellaneous 1964-1967
4 25-28 John F. Kennedy 1959-1963
7 John F. Kennedy, Photograph undated
4 29 Carl Burke Oral History 2008
4 30 Church Budget 1980
5 1 Articles 1967-1976
5 2 John Brown's Body 1986
5 3 Church Contributions 1979-1981
5 4 Frank Church Trust 1970
5 5 Cecil Andrus Campaign Trust Fund 1971
5 6 National Governor's Association 1985
6 Jensen Survey 1978
7 Certificates 1965-1977
7 Scrapbook "Trials and Errors: The Tale of Carl Prosser Burke, Esquire" 1937-1965
7 Frank Church, Photograph (signed) 1957
8 Financial Records 1967-1968

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Idaho--Politics and government
  • Political Campaigns

Personal Names

  • Church, Frank, 1924-1984

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks