William Allen White

Learn all about William Allen White, the famous newspaper editor from Emporia, Kansas, and close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, in these books at the Library.

Related event:
Meet the Past: William Allen White, May 19

By William Allen White

The Autobiography of William Allen White
By William Allen White
William Allen White was one of the most unforgettable personalities of his age – a gifted writer, highly admired journalist, politician, and friend of presidents. White's life history spans from the time of buffalo in his native Kansas to the age of F.D.R. This autobiography won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947.

Forty Years on Main Street
By William Allen White
Published in 1937, this collection of White's editorial writings covers life in Emporia, Kansas.

Selected Letters of William Allen White, 1899-1943
Edited by Walter Johnson
These letters begin when White was 31 and had owned The Emporia Gazette for four years.

What's the Matter with Kansas
By William Allen White
White attacked the Populists in this editorial published in The Emporia Gazette on August 15, 1896, and he became a prominent national figure after it was widely circulated by the Republican Party.

To an Anxious Friend
By William Allen White
This editorial published in The Emporia Gazette on July 27, 1922, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1923.


Home Town News book jacket

Home Town News: William Allen White and the Emporia Gazette
By Sally Foreman Griffith
Home Town News is both a fascinating biography and a compelling social history. The book uses White's career to help us understand the role of journalism – and the journalist – in turn-of-the-century American culture. Home Town News also tells the story of Emporia, Kansas, during this period of social change.

William Allen White's America
By Walter Johnson
This popular and comprehensive biography, published three years after White’s death in 1944, was based on letters by and to him, as well as other archival materials.

William Allen White: Maverick on Main Street
By John DeWitt McKee
This biography published in 1975, depicts William Allen White as the “man in the middle” and examines his impact on American culture.

A Man from Kansas: The Story of William Allen White
By David Hinshaw
Published in 1945, this biography focuses on the personal life of William Allen White from his roots in pioneer Kansas to his journalism experience at the University of Kansas to his professional career.

William Allen White: The Man from Emporia
By Everett Rich
Another comprehensive biography of William Allen White, this book published in 1941 concentrates on his public career.

William Allen White of Emporia
By Frank C. Clough
Clough, the managing editor of the Emporia Gazette and close associate of William Allen White’s for over twenty years, wrote this personal account of White in this biography published in 1941 to “show the man at home.”

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.


To update this reading list,

To update this reading list, I have written two books about White, both named Kansas Notable Books by the Kansas Center for the Book and both selected for master lists of the Kansas children's choice book awards which bear the name of William Allen White. They employ all sorts of primary source materials to help tell their totally fact-based story and are written simply enough that even children may enjoy them.

From Emporia: The Story of William Allen White c. 2007 Kansas City STAR Books

A Prairie Peter Pan: The Story of Mary White c. 2010 Kansas City STAR Books

White continues to be recognized in his home state, most recently as an inductee to the 2012 Kansas Hall of Fame by the Great Overland Station in Topeka.

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