Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was arguably the first Black woman to enter Congress a national figure. In 1966, Burke was the first Black woman elected to the California State Assembly. In 1972, Burke was the vice-chair of the platform committee at the Democratic National Convention, gaining national television exposure. In 1973, she was sworn in the same day as Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX), becoming the second Black women elected to Congress.Her most notable moment in the eyes of the public, though, was the fact that in 1973, Burke was the first Congresswoman to give birth while serving, and the first member of Congress to be granted maternity leave. She referred to this distinction as a "dubious honor."Burke was born Perle Yvonne Watson in 1932 in Los Angeles, California to a family of modest circumstances. She was an exceptional student, spending much of her schooling in gifted programs. She earned a degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and became one of the first Black women admitted to the University of Southern California School of Law. She earned her JD and joined the California bar in 1956. As a lawyer, she couldn't get hired by extant law firms and ended up founding her own private practice. She married mathematician Louis Brathwaite in 1957; the couple divorced in 1964.In 1965, Yvonne Brathwaite organized the legal defense for rioters involved in the infamous Watts riots. She was also named by the governor to the McCone Commission, which investigated the conditions that led to the unrest.In 1966, she was elected to the California State Assembly. She was reelected in 1968 and 1970, and came to chair the assembly's committee on urban development.Brathwaite grew tired with the slow pace of legislation in the California State Assembly. After reapportionment created a new California congressional district in southwest Los Angeles, a heavy Democratic stronghold, Brathwaite decided to pursue the seat. She faced a serious primary contender in Los Angeles City Councilman Billy Mills, but won the primary.Days after winning the Democratic primary, in June 1972, Yvonne Brathwaite married businessman William Burke. Somewhat ironically, William Burke had been an aide to Billy Mills. Yvonne Brathwaite would be known as Yvonne Brathwaite Burke for her public career.Just weeks later, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke was the vice chair of the platform committee of the Democratic National Convention. The 1972 DNC platform deliberations were famously raucous, and Brathwaite Burke became a ubiquitous face in television coverage of the event.Brathwaite Burke won a decisive general election victory.She received two relatively low-key committee assignments during her first term in Congress. She gave them up to join the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where she would serve for the duration of her congressional career.In the spring of 1973, Brathwaite Burke attracted national headlines when she announced that she was pregnant. Not only was she a sitting congresswoman, but she was 41 years old; both of these facts made public interest in her pregnancy very high. Brathwaite Burke gave birth to Autumn Roxanne Burke on 23 November 1973. She was the first sitting congresswoman to give birth and was the first member of Congress to be granted maternity leave.Brathwaite Burke focused on civil rights legislation. She particularly fought against the Nixon administration's deconstruction of Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society programs. She also included women's issues in her civil rights work. She was notably vocal in her opposition to the Hyde amendment, publishing a well-known New York Times op-ed on the topic in 1977.Brathwaite Burke was viewed as rather quiet and unobtrusive. She rarely spoke on the House floor, and was not known for engaging in partisan rhetoric.Brathwaite Burke ultimately left Congress because of her young daughter. She publicly expressed frustration, again, with the slow pace of legislation in Congress. Privately, though, she wanted to be with her daughter, and the 3,000-mile biweekly commute was not conducive to being a good mother.Brathwaite Burke decided to return to California to run for the office of California Attorney General. At the time, no woman had won the role in any state. She won the Democratic primary but lost the general election to Republican state senator and future California governor George Deukmejian (R-CA). In June 1979, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) appointed Brathwaite Burke to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, becoming the first Black person to sit on the panel. She lost a bid in 1980 for a full four-year term. She returned to private practice in Los Angeles. She would seek the office again in 1992, and would win. She would serve 16 years on the Board of Supervisors, until 2008, and spent time as the first woman and first person of color to chair the board.Brathwaite Burke was appointed to the Amtrak Board of Directors by Pres. Barack Obama in 2012. She was confirmed by the US Senate for the post in January 2013, and she continues to serve in that capacity as of 2022.Autumn Burke, Brathwaite Burke's daughter, served in the California State Assembly, representing Los Angeles, from December 2014 to January 2022.As of this writing, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke is 89 years old.
Beautiful name, if it's pronounced correctly. Europeans say it the right way. South or East of London, it's the dreaded eeeevon. Don't sabotage this classic name!
Oh... So it's not yeh-VON? I think I've been saying it wrong my whole life! I personally wouldn't use this name just because I imagine other English speakers would be a bit puzzled by how to pronounce it also, unless I'm just one in a million.
It seems like an elegant and high-class name to me, but would anyone be so kind as to explain to me why it is always used in novels to portray typical villainous and vain characters? In the end it ends up dragging a bad image, when the name is not to blame for anything. I admit I'm not a fan of names that start with "Iv" either, but I don't dislike them either.
Lovely, charming name. Sounds like an artist. Wholesome yet refined.
This name is ugly, ahaha. It's one of those names that makes you think of a girl who is snobby and thinks she's better than everyone or finds flaws in others that aren't even there.
Ugly. :)
Eh. I prefer Ivona.
I despise this name, it’s so terrible and ugly, it isn’t classy or elegant at all, I hate it even more now.
I think that most names starting with ‘Yv’ are hideous, don’t downvote my comment because it’s as if most people on this site won’t let you have an opinion on a name.
I sort of agree with you. Not with your opinion on Yvonne (I think Yvonne is a lovely name), but that people seem to hate on commenters who don't like a name. I think it's a bit okay to hate them if the commenter was *excessively* rude, but if they were respectful, then why do you need to bash on their opinion?
Elegant name! Love it!
A famous bearer is Yvonne de Gaulle, wife of French general and then president of the Republic Charles de Gaulle.
I personally don’t like this spelling at all, the Y and V just look wrong together.
Yvonnel looks like "Yvonnel" who is an evil elf queen from R. A. Salvatore's book series "The Legend of Drizzt."
I think this name is absolutely hideous and I am glad it is not popular.
Yvonne is a gorgeous and classy name!
I love the nickname Vonney so much!
I guess I don't understand how ee-vawn sounds different than ee-vahn, but I'm no linguist. This is a gorgeous name either and any way. There is a street near here called Royvonne, and I wonder if they say Ro-ee-vawn or Roy-vawn. Yvonne is better than Yvette, but Colette is better than Yvonne I feel. I like Yvonne because it sounds strong and independent, and the nickname Von is nice even for an adult. Or Vonn.
I like this name. In fact I like it a lot. Yvonne is an incredibly beautiful, classy, sexy, elegant, even a bit flirty sounding name. It makes me smile to say it. Every single Yvonne I've known has been pretty. Every single one. Without exception.
I thought it was pronounced yuh-von. Oh well, I still pronounce it like that.
Yvonne, Yvette and any other rare name beginning with Y, must be quite confusing to spell out letter by letter when people ask because the Y sounds like 'why?' and the person asking would say 'Well, I just wanna know!'Maybe spell it with an I instead, to solve this problem if you are giving your child the Y initial in the name you are giving them. At least Portuguese, Italian and Romanian don't have the letter y, so you wouldn't have that problem if one of those native languages was yours.
Don't really like this name. It just looks wrong, lol.
In 2018, 53 is the most common age for an American (U.S.) Yvonne who is registered female with the Social Security Administration. It is the 391st most common female first name for living U.S. citizens.
Yvonne makes me think of a French ballet dancer from the 1920s, with a leopard-printed frock and green eye shadow.
Yvonne is a really classy and mature name. When I hear l this name, I think of a tall, slim and striking model. I like it more than Yvette.
Yvonne was Serena's manga name in Pokemon, from Y version.
My name is Yvonne pronounced E Von. I absolutely love my name and always have. So many people dislike their name but not me! I went to an all girls school and only ever met one other Yvonne there. I love having a name that isn’t so common such as Emma or Emily etc. So many people cannot pronounce my name and I’ve seen some pretty odd spellings of it! This can be annoying but also funny. I love that my name is ageless. I’m so thankful to my mum for giving me this beautiful name as my dad wanted to name me Cheryl Rose! Thank you mum, I miss you every day! Xx.
I loved reading all the posts on the name Yvonne, but I am sad that I can never find any information on my name, which is Nyvonne.Has anyone got any information they can share with me, please?
Yvonne is a name that is both very pretty and very cool. If I had to choose between this and Yvette, I'd probably go with Yvette (one of my favorites), but Yvonne is a great name as well. I'm surprised it hasn't caught on more with the Y-craze...
Yvonne Catterfeld is a German singer, songwriter, actress and TV host. Born and raised in Erfurt, Thuringia, she later moved to Leipzig to pursue her music career on the University of Music and Theatre. In 2000, she participated in the debut season of the singing competition series Stimme 2000, where she came in second place. Catterfeld subsequently signed a recording deal with Hansa Records, which released her debut single "Bum" in 2001. The same year, she was propelled to stardom when she was cast in a main role in the German soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten. In 2003, Catterfeld made her musical breakthrough when her fifth single, "Für dich", became an international number-one hit and produced the equally successful album Meine Welt.
The name Yvonne was given to 118 girls born in the US in 2015.
My name is Yvonne and I am American born in 1960. My dad was in WWII in France and heard the name and thought it was beautiful. Plus when he and my mother married in 1950 it was popular because of Yvonne De Carlo, the actress. I have only met one other person in my life with my name. I pronounce it like the French, EE- Von. It is a beautiful name and I get a lot of compliments for it especially here in the southern part of America. I hope it becomes popular again.
Yvonne Catterfeld is a German singer, songwriter, actress and TV host. Born and raised in Erfurt, Thuringia, she later moved to Leipzig to pursue her music career at the University of Music and Theatre.
French, but like, an okay kind of french.
This is my name. I was born in 1996, and I've never met anybody (my age or not) with my name. I guess I like my name because it's unique, but people are never sure how to say or spell it.
This is my sister's name, the way we pronounced the 'Y' isn't in the key, We pronounced it "Yuh-Vahn".
The pronunciation I have usually heard is "ee-VAHN" (about like the Russian pronunciation of "IVAN". See also my comment for that name.)
The name Yvonne was very popular in France from 1900 until about the 1950's. It is now extremely uncommon among baby girls.
The name Yvonne was given to 132 baby girls born in the US in 2012.
I usually pronounced it "ee-VONE" (vone rhyming with phone)... sometimes I pronounce it as "ee-VAWN", like the Russian pronunciation of Ivan. Either way sounds nice to me. I think this is a pretty and unique name.
I associate this name with Yvonne de Carlo.
Yvonne Sherman is a former American figure skater.
Nicknames are “Von”/“Vonne” and “Vonnie”/“Voni”/“Vonni.”.
A less common pronunciation has the Y as a consonant instead of a vowel, with a slight schwa sound between the Y and the V, and the heaviest emphasis is on the last syllable, pronounced "on". I know of only one case so far where Yvonne is pronounced like this, and it's my best friend's middle name.
Usage: + SwedenSwedish calender has its name day for YVONNE: May 29It's a quite common name in Sweden. Usage started in Sweden at the end of 1875-1985 and its popularity increased to reach its highest position in the 1940's and 1950's. A total of 36,653 people had the name Yvonne by 12/31/2005. [noted -ed]
Meaning: Archer with Taxus bowSource:
I love it! Sophisticated, nice sound, and the spelling and pronunciation is very unique. What more could you ask for?
Also Yvonne Minton another very great Australian classical singer.
Great Australian opera singer Yvonne Kenny -sang at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics and the opening of the new parliament house in Canberra in 1988.
The name Yvonne is sophisticated and beautiful. I adore this name. The only bad thing is that it is hard to create a nickname for it. Vonnie?
How about Yvie - a pretty variation on an old theme?
I think Yvie is a sweet one and quite in vogue given today's spate of Evies and other Eve-type names.
Well first my name is Yvonne, and I am surprised no one remembered famous Tennis star of the 70's and 80's Evonne Goolagoong of Australia. I was a kid during those days and I remember Sears had a line of sports clothing with her name. And I just thought it was cool that somebody famous had the same name.
Yvonne Arnaud (1892-1958), whose full name was Germaine Yvonne Arnaud, was a famous actress of French origin who lived in England during much of her career.
The wife of French president General de Gaulle was also called Yvonne.
Polish-Cuban singer Yvonne Sanchez.
I also associate this name with Pauline Yvonne Reaper. There is a famous movie about that story called "Heavenly Creatures," starring Kate Winslet in one of the roles.
I think it's an elegant, sophisticated, beautiful, and mature name, but I can't help but associate it with Pauline Yvonne Reiper, a girl from New Zealand who together with her friend Juliet bludgeoned her mother with a rock because she thought her mother was responsible for the fact that Juliet was about to be sent to South Africa, and she was madly in love with her. Pauline's parents called her Yvonne. Luckily there are plenty of other Yvonnes to think about, ones who actually have this as a first name, not a middle name.
Yvonne Dionne is one of the Dionne quintuplets. She and her four sisters were taken away from their mother and father because of abuse. To read more about them, visit:
Can be pronounced "YA-vawn", "Eh-vawn", or "Ee-vawn". The last two are more typical as the French pronunciation, "EE-vawn" probably more so.
A famous bearer is Czech-American actress Yvonne Zima ("ER", Dead by Midnight, See Jane Run, etc).
I never did like this name. It always makes me think of noodles. I really, really, really don't know why. It doesn't have a nice sound either.
Yvonne is my first name. I am from Serbia and we spell it here like Ivona. People usually like my name here, because it is not so common, you can often meet some Ivana or Iva, but not Ivona.
This name is similar to Yvette. I don't like either.
A famous bearer is singer Yvonne Přenosilová.
Listen to the German pronunciation of Yvonne here:
I really like this name, very feminine. It suits people who are in their 40s though, not before or after. It is the name of one of my sister's best friends who now lives in Cyprus.
I also heard of the girl whose name was pronounced "wie-von-ee." Supposedly this was a real person where I grew up (Illinois). I have often heard this name pronounced "ya-vawn."
I bet lots of people get this name confused with Yvette.
I read a story about a couple who lived in the country who were looking in a book for a name for their daughter. "Yvonne," with which they were unfamiliar, struck their fancy. They pronounced it "Wie-VON-ee"!
I have also heard, here and there, that this name means "archer."
Canadian actress Yvonne de Carlo (born September 1, 1922) was the star of many movies of the 1940s and 1950s. She also starred in the TV series "The Munsters" where she played Lily, the matriarch of the family.
A famous bearer of this name was the 1970s singer Yvonne Elliman.

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