Thomas Raeburn White

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Thomas Raeburn White
BornAugust 30, 1875 (1875-08-30)
Rich Square, Indiana
Died 1959 (1960) (aged 83)
Occupation Attorney and political reformer

Thomas Raeburn White (1875–1959) was a prominent attorney, political reformer, newspaper publisher and law professor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He practiced law at White and Williams LLP, wrote extensively on the Pennsylvania Constitution and taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. [1]

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

White and Williams LLP is a law firm, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1899 by Thomas Raeburn White. White and Williams currently has approximately 225 lawyers and serves clients from nine offices located throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.


Personal life

White was born on August 30, 1875 in Rich Square, Indiana. White graduated from Earlham College before attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School. [2] In 1901, White married Elizabeth Wilson, she died in 1921. They had three children Mary, W. Wilson White and Thomas Raeburn White Jr.

Earlham College

Earlham College is a private liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana. The college was established in 1847 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and has a strong focus on Quaker values such as integrity, a commitment to peace and social justice, mutual respect, and community decision-making. It is primarily a residential undergraduate college but it offers a Master of Arts in Teaching and has an affiliated graduate seminary, the Earlham School of Religion, which offers three master's degrees: a Master of Divinity, Master of Ministry, and Master of Arts in Religion.

The University of Pennsylvania Law School is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A member of the Ivy League, it is among the most selective and oldest law schools in the world. It is currently ranked 7th overall by U.S. News & World Report. It offers the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.).

W. Wilson White (1906 – 1964) was a prominent attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and served as the first United States Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division from 1957 to 1960. He was the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1953 to 1957. White was also a partner in the law firm White and Williams LLP which was founded by his father, Thomas Raeburn White.

Professional life

White graduated from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1899 and was admitted to the bar that year. Throughout his professional life he was a partner in the law firm of White and Williams LLP, which he founded in 1899. [3] Although he was technically retired he continued to visit the office regularly and counsel younger attorney until his death.

Political reformer

In 1905 the Committee of Seventy, a good government group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, selected White as their counsel. In this capacity he investigated voting fraud and political crime. [4]

The Committee of Seventy is an independent, non-partisan advocate for better government in Philadelphia that works to achieve clean and effective government, better elections and informed and engaged citizens. Founded in 1904, it is a nonprofit organization guided by a Board of Directors made up of some of the region's most respected business, legal and civic leaders. They have an app focused around their WeVote initiative. They also sponsor an anti-gerrymandering initiative called Draw the Lines PA.

Published works

Commentaries on the Constitution [5]

Business Law: A Text-Book for Schools and Colleges [6]

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  1. “Thomas Raeburn White,” The Legal Intelligencer, December 17, 1959
  2. “Thomas Raeburn White Dies” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 17, 1959
  3. “Thomas Raeburn White, Lawyer, Civic Leader, Dies” Philadelphia Bulletin, December 17, 1959
  4. “White Made His Reputation As a Reform Prosecutor” The Evening Times, December 27, 1911
  5. "Commentaries on the constitution of Pennsylvania: Thomas Raeburn White: Books". Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  6. "Business Law: A Text-Book for Schools and Colleges: Thomas Raeburn White: Books". Retrieved 17 January 2014.