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H. Ron White

Judge and lawyer H. Ron White was born on February 10, 1941 in Richmond, Virginia to Ernest White and Mattie White. He graduated from Maggie L. Walter High School in 1958. White received his B.S. degree in biology and chemistry from Hampton University in 1962, and his J.D. degree from Howard University in 1971.

After graduation from Hampton University, White joined the U.S. Army in 1962. He was stationed in Kaiserslautern and Mannheim, Germany, and at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. From 1967 until 1968, White served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and was stationed in Quin Yan. By the end of his military service, he had reached the rank of captain. White began his professional career in 1971 at the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company as an environmental and labor attorney. He was promoted to the position of federal regulatory compliance counsel in 1974. Two years later, White joined Irvin & White, P.C., which became White, Mahomes, and Briscoe, P.C. the following year. In 1979, White established the Law Offices of H. Ron White & Associates. He then served as a district court judge in the State of Texas after being appointed to the position in 1983. White returned to his private law practice in 1985, and served as a partner at White & Wiggins.

In addition to his law practice, White has been active in a number of organizations. Specifically, he has been a board member of The General Counsel Forum for the Dallas and Fort Worth Chapter, and the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Texas. White has also been a member of the Texas Bar College and the National Bar Association, as well as a Life Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation.

White has been recognized and awarded for his contributions to the community. In 2004, White was named as “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Dallas Bar. He also received the Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Bar and Civic Community in 2006. White was named as one of the fifty “Lions of the Texas Bar” by The Texas Lawbook, as well as a Texas Super Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell in 2005 and from 2010 through 2015.

White and his wife, Rita C. White, have one son, Eric.

H. Ron White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 14, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.069

Sex

Male

Interview Date

03/14/2017

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ron

Occupation
Schools

George Washington Carver Elementary School

Benjamin Graves Junior High School

Maggie L. Walker High School

Hampton University

Howard University School of Law

Westwood School

First Name

H.

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WHI24

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas, St. Martin

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

6/10/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak, Hamburger, Liver

Short Description

Judge and lawyer H. Ron White (1941 - ) was appointed State of Texas District Court Judge and was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Dallas Bar Association in 2004

Employment

White & Wiggins, LLP

Law Offices of H. Ron White & Associates, P.C.

State of Texas

U.S. Army

Atlantic Richfield Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of H. Ron White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - H. Ron White lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - H. Ron White talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - H. Ron White describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - H. Ron White describes his father's community involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - H. Ron White describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - H. Ron White describes his father's military service

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - H. Ron White lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - H. Ron White talks about his son's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - H. Ron White remembers enrolling at Westwood School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about the desegregation of Virginia schools

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - H. Ron White describes Westwood School in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - H. Ron White remembers the Westwood community

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - H. Ron White recalls the business district of Richmond's Westwood community

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about the African American businesses in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - H. Ron White recalls the schools he attended in Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - H. Ron White describes his involvement in the school band

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - H. Ron White recalls his early interest in science

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers influential high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to attend Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - H. Ron White remembers his early work shining shoes

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - H. Ron White describes his father's interest in golf

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about his paternal family's tailoring experience

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - H. Ron White recalls his jobs in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - H. Ron White remembers attending the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - H. Ron White recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - H. Ron White talks about his musical interests

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - H. Ron White remembers performing in the Hampton Institute Band and Orchestra

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - H. Ron White describes his academic interests at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - H. Ron White talks about the impact of the film 'Hidden Figures'

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - H. Ron White talks about his scientific interests at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers his extracurricular activities in college

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - H. Ron White recalls joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - H. Ron White remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - H. Ron White talks about the civil rights activities at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - H. Ron White remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - H. Ron White describes his experiences in Germany

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - H. Ron White recalls being deployed to Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - H. Ron White describes Qui Nhon, Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - H. Ron White talks about starting a jazz band in Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - H. Ron White remembers considering his career options after his release from the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to pursue a career in law

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - H. Ron White remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - H. Ron White recalls entering Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - H. Ron White remembers his favorite law school instructors

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - H. Ron White describes the most difficult aspects of law school

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - H. Ron White remembers being recruited by Atlantic Richfield Company in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - H. Ron White describes his experiences at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - H. Ron White remembers being interviewed by Atlantic Richfield Company in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - H. Ron White recalls his decision to move to Dallas, Texas

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - H. Ron White describes the creation of J.L. Turner Legal Association

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - H. Ron White remembers his supportive coworkers at Atlantic Richfield Company

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - H. Ron White recalls joining the Dallas Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - H. Ron White remembers his organizational involvement while at Atlantic Richfield Company

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - H. Ron White recalls his involvement in the Dallas, Texas community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - H. Ron White talks about the migration of African Americans to southern cities

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - H. Ron White remembers guest speakers for the Committee of 100

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - H. Ron White recalls the formation of the Committee of 100

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - H. Ron White talks about the spread of information in the Dallas African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - H. Ron White talks about the gendered division of social organizations, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - H. Ron White talks about the gendered division of social organizations, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - H. Ron White recalls the changes in African American business markets

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - H. Ron White remembers working to educate Dallas' African American business community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - H. Ron White recalls Dallas' challenges with desegregation

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - H. Ron White describes the importance of city support for new residents

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - H. Ron White remembers African American elected officials in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - H. Ron White talks about organizations promoting African American politicians

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
H. Ron White describes his experiences at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
H. Ron White recalls his decision to move to Dallas, Texas
Transcript
(Simultaneous) You were just talking off camera about you being the oldest student and having--giving, giving you a little advantage on (unclear) in law school [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, 'cause I was, you know, I was at least five or six years older than the average student that would have been admitted at that time and then I had that real life experience being married [to Rita White] and having a child [Eric White] and having been in the [U.S.] military so you see things a little bit different than the student that's, who's just coming out of college who is going to law school with a few life experiences, okay. So that enabled me to, I think, develop a relationship with some of the faculty to the extent that I was selected, I guess, that last year to be the student faculty representative for the, for the law school and that was a time when Pat [ph.] and some of the others, Harrison [ph.], and some of the others were there and they were having issues trying to, you know, students began to not only boycott but raise issues at the school. Back during that time, they, they weren't that bashful about, about trying to improve the climate and ensure that we were getting the kind of resources that we felt we needed that we were investing in for our career. So, I did get a chance to participate in that capacity on behalf of the student body, the law school student body, my last year.$I came down, got a couple of people that were trying to be courteous and cordial and show me around a little bit. I realized when I got back, I didn't have a lot of information that I could share with my wife [Rita White] and they wanted to know, they said, "Well we're really interested, we'd like to make you an offer," you know, and I said, "Well, I'm--I'd be happy to consider that offer but I'm not sure I'm able to make any decisions regarding that offer without first having my wife to come down and take a look and so we can better determine what the alternatives are for my family," okay, 'cause at that time I had a wife and a son [Eric White]. And so they said, "Oh yeah, we'd be, we'd be happy to do that." So they, they did in fact arrange for me, I think a couple of weeks or so later. They said, "You let me know what time you can come and arranged for me to come back down to spend another weekend and, and to look around, to try to make that decision." We did, they got a slightly different crew. I told them, I don't want them to take me just to the white areas, I need to see where the black communities are, I need to talk with someone else who'll give me a better perspective of what, what's here really for African Americans. And so they arranged that also. Was there something you need to get?$$No, no, no. I keep hearing something but it's all right.$$Yeah, but anyways, so, so we did that and I, when I came down this time, I had to, I wanted to visit with the African American lawyers that were in town and I, my contact at that time was, was C.B. Bunkley [C.B. Bunkley, Jr.] who had been here for a while. L.A. Bedford [Louis A. Bedford, Jr.] was another prominent lawyer who had been involved, who was here. My classmate, Walter Irvin [ Walter L. Irvin] had been here a year before and Walter had graduated from Howard [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] also that year before and had been here and so those were the, the four, three or four persons that I spoke with on that second trip and I think but for the encouragement of, of C.B. Bunkley, whose son-in-law became the city attorney for Dallas [Texas] in subsequent years but he was well respected because he had been here practicing. He had primarily a civil practice, sole, sole practitioner, just like everyone in the city, primarily the sole practitioners except for a couple of them that had partnered together or working together, not so much partnered but that was the, that was the legal climate at that point. So, Bunkley said that, you know, he said, "Ron [HistoryMaker H. Ron White], I know you, you know, you'll be the first African American to be extended an offer or at least potentially accept an offer, we need you to accept this offer because that hopefully will begin to open some doors in terms of getting some more lawyers hired by some of these corporations and businesses and that, you know, that included the, the governmental entities too." So I said, said, "Well, I had told them I had to get with my wife, I need to see, see the various areas that, where we could probably live and see what we could, we could arrange." I said, "Well if I can't make it work, I'm going to get an agreement so they'll send me back to D.C. [Washington, D.C.] in two years." So, I got that agreement in place as a part of the condition of accepting the offer. There are several other things I think I discussed or was considered in making that decision. So my wife and I said, well, we'll give it a shot and see what we can do. So we established those conditions with the encouragement of the African American lawyers that were well respected at that time in the market, saying, "We'll help wherever we can, if you don't like it and you still want to practice, you've got an office here in my, in my building to work, to do some work," so that gave me another alternative that if it doesn't work I can still go out and practice with the, one or the other established lawyers and make a go of it. That was in part the dynamics of what, what evolved in terms of my decision to come down and give it a shot.