White Collar Characters: Peter Burke

Peter Burke

Peter Burke is a no-nonsense federal agent in the FBI's White Collar Crime Unit. He believes in earning success the old-fashioned way, with perseverance and hard work. He's learned to trust his gut, which is rarely wrong. (2.6) He is 6' 2½" tall, has brown eyes and brown hair. (IMDB) Peter lives Peter lives in a townhouse with his wife, Elizabeth, and his dog, Satchmo. He is currently partnered with criminal consultant Neal Caffrey.

Early Life

Peter grew up in upstate New York around horse farms. (2.10) His father worked construction as a bricklayer. (2.11, 2.12) He was raised Catholic, but has lapsed. (1.2) After high school, Peter went to college and did four years of advanced math on a scholarship and two years accounting before joining the FBI. He was considered a "mathlete" or, as Peter put it, an athlete who was also good at math. (2.3) Peter received offers from several Fortune 500 companies after he graduated from college, but choose to enter the FBI instead. (2.8)

Life with the FBI

Peter has been with the FBI for 12 years. (2.7) He was nicknamed "The Archeologist" as a probie because he would never stop digging. His mentor, Kramer, considered him stoic and non-nonsense. (3.10) He is offered the Mob division of the FBI every year but turns it down. (1.2) He has been with the white collar division for at least eight years, possibly longer. (2.11)

Peter has had a mustache on at least two occasions. Once about eight years ago when he first start looking into Neal's bond forgeries. (2.11) The second time was for about a month when Neal was in prison while Diana Barrigan was working for him the first time. He burned all pictures taken of him during that time, but Diana kept one. (2.2)

Peter Burke on White Collar

Peter put together the first White Collar task force at the bureau, in part to catch Neal Caffrey. A lot of agents wanted to be part of that task force, including Agent Clinton Jones. (2.11) He has a 93 percent conviction rate. (2.1)

Peter was suspended for two weeks after he hits Fowler. (1.13) He remained on suspension while the Department of Justice did an inquiry into the cause of the plane explosion. (2.1)

Peter Burke still has some active aliases. (1.8) Some of the include: Dr. Edgar Tannenbaum. (1.10), Carlton Lead. (1.12), and Peter Lassen. (2.8) Peter posed as Peter Williams, a U.S. steel magnate in a bachelor auction. He sold for $15,000, the second highest bid ever. (3.5) Peter posed as Ted Brown with the FDA to question Mr. Sullivan at Prager & Vaughn. (3.3)

A few other things we know about his life at the FBI:

Peter Burke and Elizabeth

Life with Elizabeth

Peter met Elizabeth twelve years earlier in the summer of 1998. (2.8, 1.10). Peter was assigned to investigate a scam/theft that occurred at the art gallery where Elizabeth worked as the assistant manager. (1.9, 2.8) Peter had the FBI do surveillance on Elizabeth to see if she had a boyfriend. (1.0, 1.9) He didn't have the courage to ask her out so she held up a sign that said she loved Italian to get him to ask her out. (1.9)

They have been married for over ten years. (1.10) Elizabeth wanted a small wedding, but it ballooned into a massive event. (3.5) Peter says he did all the cooking when he and Elizabeth were first married, but he really just ordered takeout. (2.4) They have one dog, Satchmo, which Elizabeth named. They got Satchmo approximately eight years ago. (2.11)

Other things we know about Peter and Elizabeth:

Peter Burke's Socks

Peter and Neal Caffrey

Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey

In D.C. people at the FBI call Neal and Peter "Gotham City's finest cop and robber" (3.10)

Peter was the case agent assigned to catch Neal Caffrey. He spent three years chasing Neal. He is considered the only man capable of catching Caffrey. (1.1) Peter caught onto Neal's "Nick Halden" identity in two months. "Steve Tabernacle" survived for a year. (3.6) With Neal, Peter goes by the motto "Trust but Verify," which means he checks Neal's anklet every day to see where he's gone between hours and even checks the gold card to see Neal's purchases. (1.5)

Peter considers Neal a partner, a friend and one of the smartest people he's ever met. (1.6, 1.8, 1.1) In contrast, Neal trusts Peter more than anyone else in his life, including Mozzie and Kate. (1.10) While in prison and/or on the run, Neal sent Peter birthday cards every year that Peter kept. (1.1) Peter knows almost nothing about Neal before he turned 18, including who his parents are (or were). (2.12)

Facts about Peter Burke

Here are some random things we know about Peter Burke:

Food and Drink

Peter Burke from White Collar