Harold "Bud" White '39

Harold "Bud" White '39

A member of Bowdoin’s astonishing class of 1939, Harold “Bud”White Jr. was not only one of the finest all-around athletes to perform beneath the pines, but he was also one of the finest of his era in intercollegiate competition.

Already a decorated swimmer prior to his arrival in Brunswick,White made a seamless transition from High School All-American at Edward Little to New England Champion at Bowdoin. Undefeated in freestyle sprint events during his collegiate career, White captained the squad and was a five-time New England champion. In 1938 he was honored as the New England College Swimmer of the Year, and in 1939 he became Bowdoin’s first All-American swimmer.

His talents were not confined to the pool, however, asWhite excelled as a pitcher on the Bowdoin baseball team, leading the Polar Bears to state championships in 1936 and 1938 and earning All-State recognition in 1938 and 1939. The Boston Red Sox thought so highly of White that they signed him to a contract after graduation, where he subsequently posted a 38-19 record in the minor leagues before his career was interrupted by military service.

Almost as an aside,White picked up the javelin for JackMagee’s track team during his sophomore and junior years. Doubling as a pitcher at Pickard Field and javelin thrower at Whittier Field—occasionally on the same day—White became a State Champion in 1938 with a school record toss of over 186 feet.

Already a member of the Maine State Sports, Auburn-Lewiston Sports, Maine Baseball, and Maine Swimming and Diving halls of fame, Sports Illustrated named White as one of the top 50 Maine athletes of the twentieth century.

Born in 1917, White married the former Helen Mead Toomey and together they raised two sons and one daughter. After serving in the army from 1942 to 1945, Bud returned from the war and was a baseball coach and athletic director at Thornton Academy in Saco. He died in 1992.