Daniel B. Burke, who served as president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., from 1990 until his retirement in 1994, died Wednesday. He was 82.
Burke is survived by his wife and four children, including NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, a former president of ABC broadcasting. He died at his home in Rye, N.Y.
“A gifted executive and natural teacher, and a man with a strong sense of right and wrong, Dan Burke led by example," said Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Robert A. Iger. "He stood for integrity and directness in business, and encouraged a balance in work and family life and involvement in one’s community. Dan had a significant impact on me and all those he touched, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Burke climbed the executive ladder at Capital Cities until Jan. 3, 1986, when the company acquired American Broadcasting Companies in what was, at the time, the largest non-oil merger in business history. Ten years later, the company he and business partner Tom Murphy had built, Capital Cities/ABC, was sold to The Walt Disney Company.
After his retirement from Capital Cities/ABC in 1994, Burke created a minor league baseball franchise, the Sea Dogs, in Portland, Maine. He also served as a director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and chairman emeritus of New York Presbyterian Hospital (now Columbia Presbyterian).
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Mr. Burke to the Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund to manage funds appropriated by Congress to promote the private sector in Hungary. He also served on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the University of Vermont, for a six-year term, spending the final year as board chairman.
In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made to Maine Medical Center, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Naomie Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center.