You are here

Byron White

Byron Raymond White

Born June 18, 1917 in Fort Collins, Colorado and raised in nearby Wellington, Colorado.

Died April 15, 2002.

An Incredible Athlete

After leading the University of Colorado to its first bowl appearance ever, Byron White was named as a member of the All-American Football Team in 1937. In 1938, he played professional football for the Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers). During CU's undefeated football season of 1937, he played on offense,defense and as a kicker. Through eight games he rushed for 1,121 yards. Sixty-five years after he played, fifteen CU football records are still held by Byron White.

An athletic phenomenon, Byron White was also a superb basketball player and a .400 hitter in baseball (his favorite sport) at CU. Although he disliked the sports nickname, "Whizzer," bestowed on him during his days at CU, the nickname stuck and followed him throughout his life. He played two more seasons in the NFL (Detroit Lions, 1940-1941). His name is still connected to pro football through the Byron "Whizzer" White Award, which is given annually to one NFL player for humanitarian efforts in his community.

A Remarkable Mind

Byron White was valedictorian at the University of Colorado, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Rhodes scholar. Byron White served as a naval intelligence officer during World War II. He received his law degree at Yale in 1946 and was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Frederick Moore Vinson, 1946-1947. Display case at the Byron White U.S. Courthouse, Denver, Colorado. Included are his CU football jersey, a football signed by the 1941 Detroit Lions, and a photo of Byron White in his naval uniform. May 19, 1961: Deputy Attorney General Byron White speaks with Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Byron White then entered private practice in Denver, Colorado. In 1961, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States by President Kennedy. President Kennedy named Byron White to the Supreme Court in 1962. Byron White served as justice on the Supreme Court until he retired in 1993.