William J. Burns

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William John Burns

Birthplace: Baltimore, MD, United States
Death: April 14, 1932 (70)
Sarasota, Sarasota County, FL, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Michael Burns and Bridget Burns
Husband of Anna M Burns
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other
Brother of George E Burns; Mary E Burns; James Henry Burns; Charles Burns and Florence Burns

Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William J. Burns


William John Burns (October 19, 1861 – April 14, 1932) was an American private investigator and law enforcement official. He was known as "America's Sherlock Holmes" and earned fame for having conducted private investigations into a number of notable incidents, such as clearing Leo Frank of the 1913 murder of Mary Phagan, and for investigating the deadly 1910 Los Angeles Times bombing conducted by members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. From August 22, 1921, to May 10, 1924, Burns served as the director of the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) (predecessor to the FBI).

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and was educated in Columbus, Ohio. As a young man, Burns performed well as a Secret Service Agent and parleyed his reputation into the William J. Burns International Detective Agency, now a part of Securitas Security Services USA. A combination of natural ability as a detective combined with an instinct for publicity made Burns a national figure. His exploits made national news, the gossip columns of New York City newspapers, and the pages of detective magazines, in which he published "true" crime stories based on his exploits.

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William J. Burns's Timeline

October 19, 1861
Baltimore, MD, United States
April 14, 1932
Age 70
Sarasota, Sarasota County, FL, United States