Sala Burton


April 1, 1925


February 1, 1987 (aged 61)



Sala Burton was a Democratic Party politician who represented California's 5th congressional district in 1983, succeeding her late husband Phillip. She died from colon cancer in 1987 and was succeeded in Congress by Nancy Pelosi.


Sala Galante was born on April 1, 1925 in Białystok, Poland. She moved to San Francisco at a young age and graduated from the University of California. From 1948 to 1950, she worked as the associate director of the California Public Affairs Institute. She then served for the next three years as the vice-president of the California Democratic Council, and the president of the San Francisco Democratic Women's Forum from 1957 to 1959. She was a delegate to the 1956, 1976, 1980, and 1984 Democratic National Conventions that nominated Adlai Stevenson (1956), Jimmy Carter (1976 and 1980), and Walter Mondale (1984) for President of the United States.

Sara Galante became Sara Burton when she married Phillip Burton, who served as the Congressman representing California's 5th congressional district, of which four fifths of San Francisco are a part. He died in 1983, and Sala ran for his seat's vacancy and was elected to the House in a special election two months later. She served until 1987, when she resigned after being diagnosed with colon cancer. She was succeeded in Congress by Nancy Pelosi and died on February 1, 1987. She was buried in the Presidio of San Francisco.

In honor of their public service, the Phillip & Sala Burton High School is named in honor of Sala and her husband.

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