Secretary of State Jesse White Named Illinois Library LuminaryJune 25, 2016
Jesse White became Illinois’s longest-serving Illinois Secretary of State on May 30, 2014, which also makes him the longest serving Illinois State Librarian and State Archivist. White’s tenure has been an asset to libraries in the state budgeting process, protecting them from the most severe cost-cutting in lean years. In addition to overseeing the state library and literacy programs as well as the archives of significant legal and historical records, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office performs a wide variety of tasks, ranging from driver and vehicle services to registering corporations and enforcing the Illinois Securities Act. White was first elected to the office in 1998 and was re-elected to a record-breaking fifth term in 2014.
Prior to his election as Illinois Secretary of State, White served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds and was a member of the Illinois General Assembly for sixteen years. He is perhaps best known for founding the Jesse White Tumbling Team as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. White served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, followed by a thirty-three-year career with the Chicago public school system. White earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State College (now Alabama State University) in 1957.