In Memoriam: Joseph L. White, 1932-2017

Joseph L. White, the founder of the Association of Black Psychologists and a long-time professor at the University of California, Irvine, died on November 21, after suffering a heart attack while traveling to visit family members for Thanksgiving. He was 84 years old.

A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, White grew up in Minneapolis. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Francisco State University. When, in 1962, he was awarded a doctorate in clinical psychology at the Michigan State University, he was one of only five African Americans who held a Ph.D. in the field.

Dr. White joined the faculty at California State University, Long Beach in 1962 and taught there for six years.  In 1968, he founded the Association of Black Psychologists.

Professor White joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in 1969. In 1984, he authored the book The Psychology of Blacks. Dr. Wright was named director of the African American studies program at the University of California, Irvine in 1991. He retired from teaching in 1994.


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  1. Farrell J. Webb says:

    I knew Dr. White. He was very gentle and supportive. He helped me when I was a graduate student at another institution, he did so because that was his way. He was a great mentor and an extremely kind man. He added so much to the discipline, he shall be missed by me and others.

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