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The History of Stephen M. White Middle School

Stephen Mallory White (1853-1901)

Stephen Mallory White was born in San Francisco, January 19, 1853. He was named after a former Senator from Florida, Stephen Mallory. His parents were both natives of Ireland who had come to the United States as children. During Stephen's childhood, he lived on a farm in the Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County in California. Stephen M. White was taught at home by his aunt for his elementary education and then attended a private school in Oakland, California for his secondary education. At age 16 he was accepted to St. Ignatius College in San Francisco and then he transferred to Santa Clara College where he graduated in 1871. 

In 1874 Stephen M. White attended Law School. As a lawyer, he was adept in strategy and a master of debate before a jury. He was elected to State Senator in 1886, and 1893 found him elected a United States Senator representing California. He became a Senate leader as well as a leader in the Democratic party. Always a leader in any fight for the best interests of his state and country, his greatest achievement was his tireless effort and eventual success for the establishment of a free harbor in San Pedro. This was his hardest fought battle as he defeated the plans of millionaire Collis P. Huntington to divert funds from San Pedro to another harbor site desired by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Because of his efforts on behalf of San Pedro, Stephen M. White has been called the "Father of Los Angeles Harbor." 

Throughout his political career, Stephen White set himself against corruption in government, and by his example, he did much to establish a tradition of honesty in California politics. His inspiration serves as a positive reminder for all of our students.

Stephen Mallory White died at the young age of 48 years old in Los Angeles on February 21, 1901. His final words to those at his bedside were, "The evidence is all in, the case is submitted."

Stephen M. White Middle School

Stephen M. White Middle School first opened its doors on February 4, 1957, after breaking ground ceremonies on August 8, 1955. The original campus was surrounded by open fields, cow pastures, incomplete freeways, a few housing tracts. The cost of the school and its 40 acres was $2.5 million and was the most modern school in the harbor area. 

Stephen M. White Middle School is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the last district school to be built with a full auditorium