WHITE, THEODORE H. ("Teddy"; 1915–1986), U.S. journalist and author. White was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He studied at Harvard University, graduating in 1938. His grandfather was a rabbi from Pinsk who spent his last days in pious devotion at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In his autobiography In Search of History (1978), White refers to his Jewish and Hebrew education. "What I learned, then, from age 10 to age 14, when I went on to evening courses at the Hebrew College of Boston was the Bible …." "We learned it, absorbed it, thought in it, until the ancient Hebrew became a working rhythm in the mind, until it became a second language. Memory was the foundation of learning at the Hebrew school, and the memory cut grooves on young minds that even decades cannot erase. Even now, when a biblical phrase runs through my mind, I am trapped and annoyed unless I convert it into Hebrew – whereupon the memory retrieves it from Boston, Mass., where little Jewish-American boys were forced to learn of nomads and peasants of three thousand years ago, forced to learn of spotted lambs, of the searing summer and of the saving rains (Yoreh and Malkosh)." In later years, he used to make his own Haggadah for Passover written on special cards and assigning the parts to his children. In his youth, Teddy White helped to organize the student Zionist activists on the New England campuses in the Avukah (Torch) Society. He helped organize a boycott of German goods in Boston. White was "lured" however to other interests which he defined as Harvard and history. A year after graduating from Harvard, Teddy White was Time magazine's war correspondent in China and, by 1945, at the age of 30, he was Time Bureau Chief. His first book (with Annalee Jacoby) was Thunder Out of China (1946). Between 1948 and 1953, White was in Europe and wrote Fire in the Ashes (1953). Returning to the U.S., White became a national political correspondent for The Reporter magazine, then for Colliers, and then for Life. He also published two novels (The Mountain Road (1958) on the evacuation of Chinese and American armed forces and The View from the Fortieth Floor (1960) on his 1950s stint at Collier's magazine) and one play and wrote several television documentaries. White achieved his greatest acclaim as the author of a series of books called The Making of the President for 1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 elections, for which he won the Pulitzer prize, and a wrap-up volume called America in Search of Itself, published in 1982. He had planned a 1976 "Making of the President" book, but the Watergate scandal led him to write Breach of Faith instead. (Shimshon Arad (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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