Profile: Leonard D. White


Editor in Chief 194o-1943White

Leonard D. White (1891-1958) was the founding editor-in-chief of Public Administration Review from 1940 to 1943.  Born in Acton, MA, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree of Science and Master of Arts at Dartmouth College. He served as an instructor in government at Clark University and then as a professor of political science at Dartmouth College.  Eventually he became a professor of history and political science at the University of Chicago where he earned is Doctorate of Philosophy in 1921.

It was during his time at the University of Chicago that White became an important founder in the field of public administration, writing its first textbook in 1926 (Introduction to the Study of Public Administration). He is also well known for The Federalists, The Jeffersonians, and The Jacksonians. In 1959 his The Republican Era, 1969-1901 was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history.

To learn more about White’s incredible life and contribution to the field, please see this 1958 PAR article.

Additionally, read Herbert Strong’s 1965 article Leonard D. White and the Study of Public Administration, which analyzes White’s basic assumptions of American administration being essentially Federalist in nature.