Sam J. Burks, Jr. of Alexandria, VA, died on Dec. 30, 2012, after a long illness. He is survived by his beloved wife, Elaine M. Burks. Mr. Burks was born and grew up in Dyersburg, TN. During college he was a varsity football player at Mississippi State University. He was an honors graduate of Louisiana State University and member of Sigma Delta Chi journalism honorary. He was an army veteran who served in the 101st Airborne.
Mr. Burks joined the U.S. Foreign Service where he served in Bolivia and Venezuela. He then transferred to the U.S. Information Agency, where he was a specialist in Latin American Affairs and Economics. His career included writing speeches for U.S. dignitaries visiting Latin America. He also traveled with visiting foreign heads of state, and served with U.S. delegations to Latin America. His economic writing received top recognition in many foreign countries and he received the Federal Editors Association Blue Pencil Award.