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William Bourke Cockran

William Bourke Cockran
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 16th congressional district
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 1, 1923
Preceded by Thomas F. Smith
Succeeded by John J. O'Connor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 12th congressional district
In office
February 23, 1904 – March 3, 1909
Preceded by George B. McClellan, Jr.
Succeeded by Michael F. Conry
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895
Preceded by Joseph J. Little
Succeeded by George B. McClellan, Jr.
In office
March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1889
Preceded by Abraham Dowdney
Succeeded by Roswell P. Flower
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 10th congressional district
In office
November 3, 1891 – March 3, 1893
Preceded by Francis B. Spinola
Succeeded by Daniel E. Sickles
Personal details
Born William Bourke Cockran
February 28, 1854
County Sligo, Ireland
Died March 1, 1923 (aged 69)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic

William Bourke Cockran (February 28, 1854 – March 1, 1923), commonly known as Bourke Cockran, was a United States Representative from New York and a noted political orator.

Early life

Born in County Sligo, Ireland, he was educated in France and in his native country, and emigrated to the United States when seventeen years of age. He was a teacher in a private academy and principal of a public school in Westchester County, New York. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1876 and commenced practice in Mount Vernon, New York; two years later he moved to New York City and continued the practice of law.

Political career

Beginning in 1886, Cockran, a Democrat, was a frequent candidate for the U.S. House, and won several times, serving a number of nonconsecutive terms. Between terms, he concentrated on his New York law practice. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1884, 1892, 1904, and 1920, and at the 1920 convention delivered the nominating speech for Al Smith. Cockran was a member of the commission to revise the judiciary article of the New York Constitution in 1890.

Cockran publicly broke with his party in 1896, because of his opposition to the George B. McClellan, Jr., who had resigned to become mayor of New York City.

He served his final years, 1921–1923, as a congressman, dying in Washington, D.C., on March 1, 1923. He is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York.

In 1895, Cockran, a friend of Britain's Churchill family and reputed one-time lover of Jennie Churchill, introduced her 20-year-old son, Winston Churchill, to American high society during Churchill's first trip to New York. Years later, as British prime minister,

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