Robert Burns (Oklahoma politician)

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Robert Burns
5th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma
In office
January 12, 1931 – January 15, 1935
Governor William H. Murray
Preceded by William J. Holloway
Succeeded by James E. Berry
Member of the Oklahoma Senate
In office
Personal details
Born 1874
Died 1950
Political party Democratic
Profession Lawyer, politician

Robert Burns (1874–1950) was an American attorney and politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. He served as the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma.

Early life

Born on a tenant farm in Arkansas in 1874, Burns earned a law degree from the Nashville Law School in Nashville, Tennessee, before moving to Washita County in Oklahoma Territory in December 1902.[1] He moved to Chickasha in 1905 and later Comanche, where he was elected as the first Stephens County attorney in 1907.[1]

Political career

Burns moved to Oklahoma City in 1913 and was elected as a Democrat to the Oklahoma Senate in 1916.[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1922.[1]

Burns served as lieutenant governor from 1931 to 1935, winning against Republican O. O. Owens in a landslide (286,839 votes; 62.48%).[1] He occasionally served as acting governor, as was the case when he set a $1,000 reward for the capture of Pretty Boy Floyd.[2] Floyd wrote a letter to the governor threatening to rob him if he did not withdraw the reward.[2]

Burns served in the state senate again from 1941 to 1948, before retiring to a private law practice. He died in 1950.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Robert Burns, Oklahoma Hall of Fame. (accessed July 24, 2013)
  2. ^ a b Jackson, Ron. "Depression-era gangsters turned Oklahoma folk heroes," - Depression Era Gangster in Oklahoma. (accessed July 24, 2013)
Political offices
Preceded by
William J. Holloway
Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
James E. Berry
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