For the past 51 years, Dr. White has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of psychology and mental health as a teacher, mentor, administrator, clinical supervisor, writer, consultant, and practicing psychologist. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, where he spent most of his career as a teacher, supervising psychologist, mentor, and Director of ethnic studies and cross-cultural programs.
Dr. White received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 1961. On May 10, 2007, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from the University of Minnesota, which is the highest award conferred by the University of Minnesota, recognizing individuals who have achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public affairs, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship. On May 24, 2008, he was inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame as Alumnus of the Year.
Dr. White is the author of several papers and books: The Psychology of Blacks (2011; 1999; 1990; 1984); The Troubled Adolescent (1989); Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing a Future in America (1999); Black Fathers: An Invisible Presence in America (2006; 2011); Building Multicultural Competency: Development, Training, and Practice (2008).
He was a pioneer in the field of Black psychology and is affectionately referred to as the “Godfather” of Black psychology by his students, mentees, and younger colleagues. His seminal article in Ebony magazine in 1970, “Toward a Black Psychology,” was instrumental in beginning the modern era of African-American and ethnic psychology.
In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. White has been a practicing psychologist and consultant. He has served as a supervising psychologist and staff affiliate psychologist to five hospitals and three clinical practices in Southern California. He has worked as a consultant with school districts, universities, private organizations, drug prevention programs, and government agencies. Dr. White was appointed to the California State Psychology Licensing Board by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and served as chairman for three years. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Menninger Foundation in Houston, Texas.