November 8, 1876 – January 18, 1974
Born in Jacksonville, FL, in 1876, Dr. Eartha White was the daughter of a previously enslaved woman. Through much perseverance she began several businesses including a general store, laundry company and taxi service. White used her investment portfolio of over $1 million to create a network of philanthropic organizations and entities throughout the city for the betterment of society. She was also the first professional social worker hired by the city of Jacksonville. Dr. White started the Clara White Mission in 1904 in honor of her mother providing housing and resources to the unhoused. The mission continues to serve the Jacksonville community, by providing meals, transitional housing for veterans, and provides culinary arts, janitorial and construction training. Dr. White left an indelible impression upon Jacksonville in how she cared for the elderly, the sick, the orphaned, and the underserved of our community until her death in 1974 at the age of 97. She received an honorary doctorate of law degree from Edward Waters College and an honorary doctorate of humanities from Florida Memorial Institute.
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