“I was 17 years old before I learned to read and write. When my education had reached that stage, I found my mind was starved and I realized the importance of education…I read newspapers and anything I could pick up.”
Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor (1931-1935) and state senator Robert Burns was born on a tenant farm in Arkansas and worked his way through Nashville Law School in Tennessee. He came to Oklahoma briefly in 1900 but returned to his hometown to teach school before settling in Washita County, Oklahoma, in 1902. After a short stint in politics in Oregon, he came to Chickasha, Oklahoma, in 1905 and later moved to Comanche, where he was elected as the first Stephens County attorney in 1907. He moved to Oklahoma City in 1913 and was elected to the senate from Oklahoma County in 1916. He was nominated for governor but lost in the election of 1922. He also served as state senator in 1940, was reelected in 1944 and served four more years before retiring to his private law practice.
Robert Burns could not read or write until he was 17.
Burns came to Washita County, Oklahoma, in December of 1902 to practice law.