Military Wiki
Burton Barr
Born 1917
Died January 13, 1997(1997-01-13)
Occupation Businessman, politician
Title Colonel
Political party Republican Party

Burton Barr (1917–1997) was an American Colonel, businessman and politician. He served as a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives from 1964 to 1986, and as its Republican Majority Leader from 1966 to 1986.


Early life

Burton S. Barr was born in 1917.[1]


During World War II, he served in the United States Army in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany.[2] He received the two Silver Awards and one Bronze Award for his service.[3] He became a lieutenant colonel in 1946 and a colonel in 1964, when he resigned from the army. During his service in World War II, Barr commanded three men who won the Medal of Honor (one of them was Audie Murphy).[2]

In 1964, he was elected as a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, representing district 18, where he served until 1986.[2] Additionally, he served as the Republican Majority Leader in the House from 1966 to 1986.[2] In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Arizona, losing the Republican primary to Evan Mecham. Barr was known as one of the most effective political leaders in Arizona history. His colleagues in the legislature referred to him as "Mister Magic". Barr helped pass legislation promoting such things as vehicle inspections, health care, education, prison reform, child care and freeway funding.[2][4]


He died on January 13, 1997.[1]


  • The Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix, Arizona was named in his honor.[1]
  • The Burton S. Barr Memorial Scholarship at Arizona State University was also named in his honor.[5]

Secondary source

  • Philip R. VanderMeer. Burton Barr: Political Leadership and the Transformation of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press. 2014.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Phoenix Public Library: Who is Burton Barr?
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Arizona legislature: ON THE DEATH OF THE HONORABLE BURTON S. BARR.
  3. Military Times Hall of Valor: Burton S. Barr
  4. Bill Curry, [ Uncertain Politics Put Western States on Edge], The Los Angeles Times, October 02, 1986
  5. Arizona State University: Burton S. Barr Memorial Scholarship
  6. The University of Arizona Press

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