Death Claims a Noted Turf Official, Daily Racing Form, 1913-10-16


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DEATH CLAIMS A NOTED TURF OFFICIAL. A man widely known iu racing passed away when Joseph John Burke died at his home in Richmond Hill, Queens Borough, New York, Tuesday night. Ho was Ixirn at Portsmouth, Va., in 1S53, and when old enough to learn a trade, liecame a printer. Going to New York while a hoy of 10, he worked at his calling on the Spirit of The Times, when, with George Wilkes as its editor and owner, that publication was the most influential turf organ of this country. There lie liecame acquainted with the entertaining turf writer, Charles J. Foster and when the latter liecame the founder of The Sportsman, became one of its associate editors. Hugh I. Mclntvrc, long secretary of the Brooklyn Jockey Cluli, being the other. The three men were fast friends and iMtween them made The Sportsman a remarkably interesting publication, although it never made, much money. Karly in the eighties the elder Engeman became much impressed with Burkes ability and good judgment and made him judge at Brighton Beach. There lie made good and G. Wal-Ikiuui and his associates made him presiding judge at the famous Gnttenburg track on the hills across the Hudson opposite New York. In 1S90 Secretary John K. Brewster prevailed on him to come west and in that vear he made his advent at Washington Park as presiding judge. He was the lirst paid judge ever employed by the Washington Park Club and served there for live years, until racing was abandoned in 1S95. His engagement at Washington Park brought him favor in the west and further engagement at St. Paul, St. Louis and San Fran-ico. Other places at which lie lias served etlici-etitlv since his lirst appearance at Washington Park are Saratoga. Providence, Washington, D. C, Toronto, Fort F.rie, Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal. Of late years his service as a raciug judge has been mainly confined to the Canadian tracks and it was while otllciating at the recent Dorval Park meeting that he caught a cold that eventually led to complications which resulted fatally. Judge Burke Is survived by a wife, two sans and four daughters. He was a genial man of pleasing personality. A voracious ruidcr. he was possessed of a vast fund of information in many lines, but being a modest man. gave but few of his associates a glimpse of the wealth stored away In his finely ordered mind. For a number of years past he had been turf editor of the New York Herald and at times was a valued contributor of interesting articles to Dally Racing Form. As a racing otlicial he -was justly placed in the front rank and in many places sincere regret will follow information of ids disappearance from among men.

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