Born in Washington, D.C., "Doc" White was a graduate of a dental school in Georgetown. He started his professional baseball career in 1901 with the Phillies. In 1903, he jumped to the White Sox of the new American League.
From 1903 to 1906, White won at least 16 games each year; his earned run average was in the league's top four each year, as well. He led the league in ERA in 1906 with a 1.52 mark and went 18–6. That year, the White Sox won the pennant and their first World Series.
The following season, White set a career-high in wins with 27. He pitched effectively for Chicago until 1912, had an off-year in 1913, and then went to the Pacific Coast League from 1914 to 1915.
White also gained some recognition as a composer, publishing at least four songs (such as bestseller "Little Puff of Smoke, Good Night" in 1910) with his co-writer Ring Lardner, who was a sportswriter in Chicago during that period.