White Collar Wiki
Peter Burke
Nickname "The Suit"
Alias(es) Carlton Leed,
The Archeologist,
Peter Morris
Peter Nevins
Mr Satchmo
Neal Caffery (cover)
Gender Male
Birth Date (1963-08-25) August 25, 1963 (age 58)
Profession FBI Special Agent
Specialty White Collar Crimes
Family Elizabeth Burke (Wife)
Neal Burke (son)
Satchmo (Family dog)

Portrayed By Tim DeKay
Season(s) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
First Appearance Pilot
Last Appearance Au Revoir
Episode Count 78 episodes
Images of Peter Burke

Peter Burke is a special agent for the FBI in charge of white-collar crimes. He is also one of the only people that Neal Caffrey truly trusts.

Character Profile

A no-nonsense federal agent in the FBI's White Collar Crime Unit, Peter believes in earning success the old-fashioned way, with perseverance and hard work. Adhering to a 'by the book' approach to law enforcement, he has high moral and ethical standards, although having Neal assigned as his CI occasionally makes him more willing to bend rules and look at 'grey areas' for opportunities to catch the real bad guys.

Having completed a CBA at college, Peter entered into the FBI's recruitment program not long after. He initially met his now-wife, Elizabeth, during an investigation of a robbery at the gallery where she worked. After putting her under surveillance 'to make sure [she] wasn't seeing anybody else' Peter eventually asked her out, and they have been married for ten years as of the start of Season 1. Peter's lacking ability in flirting often puts him in danger while he is undercover and needs to charm a woman. Funnily, it is Elizabeth who usually helps him with flirting with other women (most likely because she knows exactly how deep is Peter's love for her).

It took him years of diligent investigation, along with the steadfast support of his wife, to finally catch elusive white-collar criminal Neal Caffrey. He has, to date, apprehended Caffrey three times. The second apprehension, after Neal broke out of a maximum security prison, led to the deal being struck that gave Neal some freedom in exchange for wearing a tracking anklet and working for the FBI to catch other white-collar criminals.


In the season two episode 'Copycat Caffrey', Peter is revealed to have been a math nerd and a jock - causing Neal to call him a "math-lete".

In the season two episode 'Company Man', Peter reveals that he has a math degree, which enabled him to pose as an accountant for an undercover job. Neal Caffrey points out that if he had chosen to go into the private sector, he could already be a millionaire. Peter retorts that if he hadn't become an FBI agent, he might not have met Elizabeth or arrested Neal.

In the season three episode 'Stealing Homes', a conversation between Neal, Peter and Elizabeth reveals that upon graduating college, Peter was drafted to join the Twins baseball team. Two weeks into spring training as a slider, he tore his rotator cuff. While his injury was fully repaired and he was able to return to the team three months later, the doctor's warning about possibly injuring himself irreparably cemented his decision to leave. Presumably, he went to work for the FBI after this.

See Also


  • Peter appears to be based on Joseph Shea, a war veteran and FBI agent best known as the most notable agent on the case of worldwide American con artist Frank Abagnale. Abagnale, in turn, is the most likely inspiration for Neal Caffrey.