Notable for his paleoanthropological research on an ancient hominid skeleton nicknamed 'Lucy,' White is also famous for his 1994 discovery of an ancestor of modern day humans known as Ar. ramidus.
After completing his undergraduate education at the University of California, Riverside, he earned a doctorate in physical anthropology from the University of Michigan.
He taught for many years in the anthropology and integrative biology departments at the University of California, Berkeley.
He spent the majority of his childhood in Lake Arrowhead, California.
During the 1970s, he assisted the renowned paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey on an investigation involving hominid fossils that Leakey had uncovered in Tanzania.