Lee C. White

Lee White
White House Counsel
In office
January 17, 1965  February 11, 1966
President Lyndon Johnson
Preceded by Mike Feldman
Succeeded by Harry McPherson
Milton Semer
Personal details
Born Lee Calvin White
(1923-09-01)September 1, 1923
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Died October 31, 2013(2013-10-31) (aged 90)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Religion Judaism

Lee Calvin White (September 1, 1923 – October 31, 2013) was an advisor to both President Kennedy and Johnson, most notably on civil rights matters.[1]


After studying electrical engineering and then law at the University of Nebraska, he worked as an attorney for the Tennessee Valley Authority. From 1954 to 1957, and then from 1958 to 1961, he was assistant to Senator John F. Kennedy. From 1961 to 1963 he was Assistant Special Counsel to President Kennedy. From 1963 to 1966 he was Associate Special Counsel, and then Special Counsel, to President Johnson.[2] From 1966 to 1969 he was Chairman of the Federal Power Commission.[1][3]

According to historian Robert Dallek, although he was "not overtly or dramatically evident as a public figure, he worked behind the scenes in an effective way to deliver on executive reforms or actions." He was instrumental in pushing through Congress the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[2][4]

In the 2014 film Selma, he was played by Giovanni Ribisi.[5]


  1. 1 2 "Biographical Profiles: Lee C. White". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  2. 1 2 "Office Files of Lee C. White". LBJ Presidential Library. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  3. "Office Files of Lee C. White, Biographical Note". LBJ Presidential Library. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  4. Bernstein, Adam (2 November 2013). "Lee C. White, trusted adviser to Kennedy and Johnson on crucial civil rights strategies, dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  5. Kroll, Justin (June 12, 2014). "Giovanni Ribisi to Play Presidential Adviser Lee C. White in 'Selma' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
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Legal offices
Preceded by
Mike Feldman
White House Counsel
Succeeded by
Harry McPherson
Succeeded by
Milton Semer
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