Charles A Burch

Charles A Burch


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Written 2010 by Will Johnson for Scholar's Edition
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This article should be cited as :
"Charles A Burch (1931-2004), Gay Rights Activist" by Will Johnson,
for Scholar's Edition Professional Biographies at
Copyright 2010, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

This is the only known comprehensive biography of Charles A Burch in existence.  All other mentions of Charles A Burch are either quite tiny, or just snippets of his impact on others at some particular point in their lives, without giving a comprehensive view of his life.  This biography I hope will correct that.

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How many Charles A Burch's were there?  Is the one who died in 2004 in Burlington, the same man who was arrested in connection with a Gay Activist's Alliance demonstration in 1971 ?  Or are these two different people?

"Charles A Burch, age 40, 423 West Street, New York City; a member of the Gay Activists' Alliance, he had also been arrested in August 1971 in connection with the demonstration at Suffolk County Police Headquarters"  He is certainly the same man mentioned by Edmund White here and here, in connection with meeting him in Chicago, Charles then being 30 while Edmund was 20 (so about 1960ish), and later mentioning him living in New York City during the Stonewall riots.  Edmund here calls Charles "... a Chicago poet and advertising man."  And here he mentions that Charles was "... an ex-jazz musician... who became my first lover."  They met in the Summer of 1960.

Charles A Burch
of Burch and Company
Ad Agency in Vermont

The one who died in Vermont, Charles A Burch was born 5 Dec 1931 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Angelus T Burch and his wife Marie Stuart.  He lived in Chicago and New York where he worked in advertising. Toward the end of his life he had moved to Vermont where he was the owner of an ad agency.  He died in Burlington on 14 Oct 2004 due to a bicycle accident, when he was struck by a car.  He was buried in the Adirondack-Burlington cemetery.

Charles Burch of Burch and Company, an advertising agency in Vermont, wrote a piece called "The Ad Game" for a magazine "Business People" at this link.  He states there that he went to grade school in Cleveland, but also that they moved to Chicago.  He contributed a number of articles to that magazine.  His obituary was prepared by the Ready Funeral Home at this link.  It does not mention in his obit, him being a poet or jazz musician however.

Could there have been two Charles A Burch's, both in advertising, who both moved from Chicago to New York, and who were both the same age or within a year of each other ?  Is that possible?

  • "Charles A Burch", Social Security Death Index, "born 5 Dec 1931, SSN issued by Illinois before 1951, died 14 Oct 2004, last residence Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont"
  • "Charles A Burch", Vermont Death Records 1909-2008, "died 14 Oct 2004, inpatient at Burlington, born Cleveland, Ohio; spouse's name Lee Milam" death caused by "blunt impacts on head and torso", father Angelus T Burch, mother Marie Stuart, death certificate image at