(Oct. 6, 1914 - June 11, 1989)
CECIL E. BURNEY
State Bar President, 1951-1952
In 1951 at age 36, Cecil E. Burney was the youngest man ever elected
to head the new, integrated State Bar of Texas. A surplus of Bar funds
allowed Burney to originate the idea for a State Bar Building in
Austin, and he considers this project to be his greatest accomplishment
as president. During Burney's term the State Bar of Texas was selected
by the A.B.A. as the nation's most outstanding Bar Association. Burney
encouraged legal aid programs for the poor and promoted a public lawyer
referral service. The son of Frank E. and Allye S. Burney, Cecil Burney
was born on October 6, 1914, in Riesel, Texas. He received his B.A. and
J.D. degrees from the University of Texas in 1937 and was admitted to
the Bar in 1938. Since then he has made his home in Corpus Christi.
During World War II he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served overseas as
a gunnery officer. He was discharged in 1945 as a lieutenant commander.
In 1949 he married Kara B. Hunsucker; and they had three children. His
wife died in 1973.
Burney served as a member of the A.B.A.'s Board of Governors in
1965-1968 and House of Delegates in 1955-1969. He was chairman of the
National Conference of Bar Presidents in 1955 and president of the
Texas Historical Foundation in 1970-1974. He has served as a director
of eight Texas banks and on the board of directors of Texas A & M
University of Corpus Christi. An active Democrat, Burney was a delegate
to numerous state and national party conventions; and in 1968 he was
both state director for the Humphrey-Muskie campaign and a Presidential
Elector. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and was affiliated
with many state and local civic, professional, and social
organizations. In 1938 Burney was selected as "Most Outstanding
Young Man in Corpus Christi." He was given the "Distinguished
Service Award" by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1939 and
an honorary LL.D. degree by the University of Corpus Christi in 1975.