Richard Alan White, 72, renowned writer, author and historian, passed away Saturday, July 9, 2016 at his home on Hoopersville, Maryland.
Born January 17, 1944 in Abington, Massachusetts, he was the son of the late Rose Dabravalski and John Witkowski. He was the brother of the late John White and beloved uncle of many nieces and nephews.
A scholar, world adventurer and human rights advocate, Dr. White was the author of several groundbreaking books: The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America, Paraguay’s Autonomous Revolution (1810-1840), and Breaking Silence: The Case That Changed the Face of Human Rights.
Richard earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Latin American History from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he held Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright-Hays scholarships. While conducting historical research in Paraguay on an Organization of American States post-doctoral fellowship, he worked as a field representative for Amnesty International. He served as a Senior Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Washington, DC.
Richard taught at UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles, as well as the Universidad Catolica and the Universidad Nacional in Asuncion, Paraguay. He was the only non-Paraguayan member of the Institudo de Investigaciones Historicas Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodrigues de Francia, an honor awarded in recognition of the Spanish publication of his book Paraguay’s Autonomous Revolution, 1810 – 1840. As an expert on Paraguayan affairs, White took part during the 1980’s in operations to locate former Nazi war criminals, including Dr. Joseph Mengele.
As a Project Director in the International Relations Division of the Mexico City based Centro de Estudios Economicos y Sociales del Tercer Mundo (CEESTEM) during the 1980’s, Whites’ responsibilities including producing a semi-annual report analyzing the diplomatic, political, and military developments in Central America, conducting on site investigations of human rights violations, and briefing U.S. Congressional delegations on fact-finding missions to the region. His work, The Morass: United States Intervention in Central America -- a 1984 critique of the Reagan administration’s counterinsurgency policies in the region. It received the Gustavus myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United States award.
He worked as a consultant on Latin American affairs for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as the CBS Evening News and ABC World News.
Dr. White moved to Hoopersville in 1986. He especially appreciated corresponding with friends and living on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay, where he continued his writings and enjoyed the beautiful sunsets and remote landscapes. He loved spending time with his cat Trini.
He leaves behind friends from the island and around the world as well as his niece Natalie A. White and her husband Jeremy Crockford of Middleboro, Massachusetts; his nephew John J. White and his wife Carla White of Huntsville, Alabama; his niece Susan Chacey and her husband Allan Chacey of Markham, Virginia; his nephew Mitchell White of Middleboro, Massachusetts; and his niece Marlo White and her husband Kevin Richman of Lakeville, Massachusetts. Survivors also include many grandnieces and grandnephews.
Friends are welcome to join an informal memorial service to be held on Wednesday July 13, 2016 starting at 6 p.m. at his home. Burial services will take place in the family plots in Massachusetts. To contact family, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Amnesty International at www.amnestyusa.org.
Arrangements entrusted to Newcomb and Collins Funeral Home, P.A., Cambridge.
To send online condolences visit www.newcombcollins.com.