Title: Oral History Interview with Thomas Jackson White Jr., March 14, 1986. Interview C-0029-2.
Interviewer: Dean, Pamela
Interviewee: White, Thomas Jackson
Abstract: At the time of this interview, in 1986, Thomas Jackson White Jr. could look back on decades as a civil and criminal lawyer in eastern North Carolina, terms in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly in the 1950s and 1960s, a stint as a lobbyist, positions on the governing bodies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a long career of influence in state politics. In this interview, White describes some of his experiences as a leader in North Carolina. He speaks at length in the first half of the interview about his eighteen-year chairmanship of the State Art Museum Building Commission, time he says he spent navigating resistance from Raleigh residents, bureaucratic mazes, the press, and party politics. In the second half, White focuses on his career as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry, offering a behind-the-scenes look at how the legislature works. This interview offers not just a portrait of an influential North Carolinian, but also insight into the intricacies of state government. White died in 1991.