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Who is Burton Barr?Who is Burton Barr?<div class="ExternalClassE1919EE722E342CCAB142050528ADC28"><p>Burton S. Barr (1917 - 1997) ​was a successful businessman, a decorated World War II hero and Arizona’s most powerful politician for two decades as Speaker of the House.</p><p>Through the halls of state government and in the midst of the marching three-piece-suits, Barr often dressed in a yellow pullover sweater, casual slacks and one of his favorite hats made of wool patchwork with a roller-coaster brim.  Talking, waving, smiling and always making deals for the good of the people who elected him, Barr moved graciously in any setting.</p><p>A selfless fundraiser and tireless worker for dozens of charities, a longtime colleague recalled that when Barr was asked to help out, “He just couldn’t say no!”</p><p>But Burton Barr was first and foremost a family man.  “My family comes first.  I’ve been successful…in not letting my political career…interfere with all the chores and pleasures every family goes through.”</p><p>In recognition for his support of making information services available to all, ​Burton Barr Central Library was named in his honor in 1997.​</p><h3>Learn More</h3><p>"A study of the right man in the right place at the right time." ~author, Phillip VanderMeer​</p><p>Forthcoming from <a href="" target="_blank" title="Go to the Press website.">University of Arizona Press​</a>, Burton Barr: Mr. Magic, Political Leadership, and Transforming Arizona is a study of Barr’s life and career.  It examines a fascinating character whose strategies, behavior and personality demonstrate effective legislative leadership. It also describes a period in which Arizona politics and policy making were pragmatic and centrist, rather than following a strictly ideological approach. Working at a time and in a place ready for change, Barr was key as a man with impressive leadership skills and a focus on effectiveness and outcomes.</p><p>The book is based on a series of interviews conducted by Jack Pfister with local leaders including Alfredo Gutierrez, Terry Goddard, Governor Jane Dee Hull, Eddie Basha and Burton Barr himself.  <a href="" target="_blank" title="Visit the Burton Barr book website to explore the oral histories.">Listen and learn more</a>.<br></p></div>