Flint philanthropist, C.S. Mott Foundation leader William White dies at 82

William White, former head of the C.S. Mott Foundation, died on Wednesday.
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FLINT (WJRT) (10/9/2019) - William White, the longtime leader of the C.S. Mott Foundation, died on Wednesday. He was 82.

White married Claire Mott in 1961 and went to work for her father, Charles Harding Mott, eight years later as a consultant with the foundation.

He is credited with reorganizing the foundation's operations and grant procedures.

White later was promoted to president, CEO and chairman of the foundation's board at various points during his career. The foundation grew from $377 million to more than $3 billion in holdings under his leadership.

A statement from the foundation says White took a long-term view of solving community problems and subscribed to C.S. Mott's belief that good things happen when people partner to help their communities.

White's son, Ridgway White, now leads the C.S. Mott Foundation.

Tributes to his life and legacy came in Wednesday afternoon from several prominent Flint officials.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver:
“It is with the deepest sympathy that I extend my condolences to Ridgway White and the entire White family. The passing of Mr. William White is beyond words. The work that the Mott Foundation has done in this community under the direction of Mr. White is immeasurable and the number of lives impacted both in Flint and around the world is innumerable. Flint is certainly a better place to live because of his vision and philanthropic leadership.”

State Sen. Jim Ananich:
“Our hearts are broken to hear of Bill White’s passing. For decades, Bill has been a giant in the community, using his philanthropic platform to advance the lives of the people who call Flint home. You can find Bill’s fingerprints on just about every major initiative to improve Flint’s education and health, clean up the environment, and revitalize our downtown. Andrea and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the White family. Bill will be sorely missed.”

Congressman Dan Kildee:
“Bill White has made an incredible impact on our community and communities around the world that will be felt for generations. Bill’s intellect and big heart were focused on improving the lives of people less fortunate. His philanthropic leadership at the Mott Foundation and work supporting afterschool programs bettered the lives of millions of Michigan’s children and families.

“Bill had an enormous influence on my own work and career as well. Bill invested in me and in the ideas I brought to him in a way that encouraged and challenged me to do more and better.

“Bill was a good man and a good friend. Our community will miss him dearly.”