TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Death of Arthur B. White -- A "Quiet Giant of the Tax Law"

Arthur B. White, a former attorney in the IRS's Office of Chief Counsel and Tax Prof at WIlliam & Mary, died on December 13 at the age of 93.  From the obituary in the Washington Post:

Mr. White joined the IRS in Washington in 1940 and worked in the office of the chief counsel until he retired in 1974. From 1941 to 1946, he served in the Army, attaining the rank of major. During his tenure at the IRS, Mr. White served as regional counsel in Boston from 1952 to 1954 and in New York from 1954 to 1956. He also served as director of the interpretive division, interpreting tax law for the office of chief counsel from 1956 to 1960. He did extensive legal research on the definition of charitable organizations and the legislative origins of tax exemptions for charitable organizations. From 1960 through 1974, he was special assistant to the chief counsel. ...

He began his teaching career as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in 1965 and served as a visiting professor at Southern Methodist University in 1967 and 1968. After retiring from the IRS in 1974, Mr. White became a professor of law at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. He retired in 1980 and served as an emeritus professor until 1984.

Update:  From former IRS Commissioner Sheldon Cohen (Farr, Miller & Washington, Washington, D.C.):

We lost a quiet giant of the tax law.  Art knew more about exempt organizations than anyone in the Chief Counsel's office or in private practice. He was such a fine thinker that I gave him a years leave of absence to go off and teach and think though his ideas on how the law regarding exempt orgs should work. He later left the IRS for a career at William & Mary, teaching in that area. He was great.  We will miss him.

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Not only a giant among tax attorneys but also an unsurpassed humorist and fisherman deluxe. A warm soul who never met a stranger and enjoyed life and people everywhere he went.He is missed.So much for the "dead sea scrolls".

Posted by: Lewis Hubbard | Jan 11, 2008 5:13:38 PM