Bill White (Canadian politician)

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William Andrew White, III
Bill White III.jpg
Bill White, seen here in the mid-1970s.
Photo courtesy of the White family.
First Black Canadian MP candidate
Constituency Spadina, 1949
Personal details
Born (1915-02-07)February 7, 1915
Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died January 23, 1981(1981-01-23) (aged 65)
New Zealand
Political party Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Spouse(s) Vivian R. Keeler
Children W. Romney White, Chris White, Laurie White, Sheila White, Tim White
Residence Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Teacher/Composer/Choral Group Leader
Religion Unitarian

William Andrew (Bill) White, III, OC (February 7, 1915 – January 23, 1981) was a Canadian composer and social justice activist, who was the first Black Canadian to run for federal office in Canada.

1949 federal election[edit]

He stood as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation candidate in the Toronto electoral district of Spadina in the 1949 election, although he was not elected.

Canadian federal election, 1949: Spadina
Party Candidate Votes
     Liberal David Croll 23,652
     Progressive Conservative Willard M. Box 9,407
     Co-operative Commonwealth William Andrew White 5,969

Order of Canada[edit]

Bill White was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada on December 18, 1970.[1] He was invested into the Order on March 31, 1971.[1] The appointment was for "services to the community and his contribution to better relations and understanding between people of different racial background."[1] Another honour he earned was the Scarborough Citizen of the Year in 1976.

Family history[edit]

He was the son of Baptist minister William A. White and the brother of famed Canadian concert singer Portia White, labour union leader Jack White, and television performer Lorne White. Bill White was the father of software designer W. Romney White, folk musician Chris White, Toronto physician Laurie White, social activist and politician Sheila White and professional musician Tim White.


Bill White died in New Zealand on January 23, 1981 local time (January 22 in Toronto's Eastern Time Zone).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Honors, Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada Website. Governor General of Canada. 2006-03-30. Retrieved 2009-11-16.