Mr. White, the son of a Congregational minister, was reared in various small New England towns. He graduated as salutatorian of Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, Massachusetts and entered Yale University in the fall of 1971. After completing three semesters there, he withdrew from the university, unable to afford the costs, and worked in home improvement contracting in Yonkers, New York for several years. Therafter, he was granted a full scholarship to return to Yale in the spring semester of 1985 and completed his degree, graduating with honors in 1987 with a major in History focusing on the Middle East. His senior essay, A Time to Favor Zion: the Jews of Jerusalem 1825-1850, was labeled “brilliant” by the Chancellor of Tel Aviv University.