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First Name: George

Last Name: Burkley

Birthplace: PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Gregory

Date of Birth: 29 August 1902

Date of Death: 02 January 1991

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
George Gregory Burkley

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


George Gregory Burkley
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

George Gregory Burkley was born on 29 August 1902 in Pennsylvania.

Burkley was raised in Pennsylvania and earned his MD from the University of Pittsburgh.

After service in the South Pacific during WWII, he was assigned to a number of naval hospitals before becoming Commanding Officer of the Washington Dispensary in 1957. He became the physician at Camp David (which is a Navy facility) in 1959, and accompanied President Eisenhower on at least one major trip. In August 1961, Dr. Burkley was promoted to Rear Admiral and assigned to the White House, initially as Assistant Physician, becoming Physician to the President in June 1963.

A cardiologist, he was President John F. Kennedy's personal physician and was in the Dallas motorcade on 22 November 1963. After President Kennedy was killed, Dr. Burkley remained as personal physician to President Lyndon Johnson, receiving his third star as a Vice Admiral in January 1965. He retired at the end of the Johnson administration in January 1969.

Controversial Figure

Today, Burkley remains controversial for a number of reasons: he received evidence collected by doctors who treated President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital in Dallas; he selected Bethesda Naval Hospital as the site for the autopsy, and supervised the examination, receiving the brain, and other evidence, as well as the Bethesda doctors' reports; and he supervised the preparation of the President's body for burial.

As custodian of the evidence and reports, he was responsible for transferring all material to the Kennedy family. Dr. Burkley was never called to testify by either the Warren Commission or the later House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). When asked in a 1967 interview if he agreed with the Warren Commission as to the number of bullets that struck President Kennedy, he replied "I would not care to be quoted on that."

In 1976, his lawyer, William Illig, reached a staff member of the HSCA stating that the doctor had evidence that someone besides Lee Harvey Oswald must have been involved in the murder; again, his statement was never taken. Dr. Burkley spent his final years in California.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral George Gregory Burkley died on 2 January 1991 in Los Angeles, CA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA

Honoree ID: 2299   Created by: MHOH




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