Edgar A White '34 (Football, Basketball, Track, Baseball)

Inducted 1978

Eddie White had a knack for making big plays – in two sports.

In football, White was a two-year starting center on offense and defense. As a senior in 1933, three Washington, D.C., newspapers named him All-District. His blocking helped running backs Tommy Whelan, Buster Sheary and Jan Jankowski run their way into the Catholic University Hall of Fame. During his three years on varsity, the Cardinals were a combined 20-5-2 (.808).

Defensively, White in 1931 had two interceptions apiece vs. CCNY and Gallaudet. Two years later, he intercepted a pass on the Chattanooga 35-yard line that led to the Red and Black’s third touchdown in a 25-0 victory. In the season opener that season, a 37-6 win over La Salle, he turned in one of the greatest defensive performances in school history. Coach Dutch Bergman said he “played a 100 percent game.”

“When La Salle passed us dizzy during that first half it was Eddie who stepped in,” Bergman told CUA’s student newspaper, The Tower. “And when you consider … his five interceptions of menacing aerials, you can realize just how valuable that kid really is.”

“Upon the gridiron Eddie will be remembered for his offensive and defensive strength at the center post,” the 1934 Cardinal yearbook said. “Particularly to us in future years will arise the memory of his uncanny ability against an aerial attack.”

White, of Philadelphia, Pa., played guard in basketball and led the freshman team in scoring. As a sophomore he was the second-leading scorer in Washington. Two years later, he was elected captain and named All-District.

As a junior, White’s shot from beyond halfcourt with 15 seconds to go gave the Cards a 48-47 victory at Loyola (Md.). CUA, trailing 47-42 with two minutes left, withstood two final Greyhound shots to win and close out the 1932-33 season 10-4. He finished with 13 points.

The next year, White nailed the game-winning shot from halfcourt to rally the Cardinals to a 33-31 victory over Duke. The club wound up 13-4, its most wins in six years.

“…upon him Coach [Forrest] Cotton placed much confidence in perfecting his defense,” the 1934 Cardinal said. “Many an enemy attack can attribute its failure to this unconquerable little fellow who seemed to fulfill completely the part of ‘an ace in the hole.’”

White also tried his hand at track – pole vaulting as a senior – and played a year of baseball.

White graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1934 and won CUA’s most prestigious award for graduating senior men, the Harris Cup. The honor is bestowed upon those considered a scholar, athlete and gentleman. The school yearbook, describing him as “unassuming, humble and extremely quiet,” added:

“Catholic University may well be proud of him and point to him with pride as the perfect product of a sound Catholic education.”

Chris McManes
September 2012