Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, on 20 December 1870, died in Fulham, South Australia, on 20 January 1954.
His father, Samuel White, an avid bird collector, married Martha (Patty) (nee Taylor) and lived near the 'Reedbeds' between Adelaide and the coast. White Senior undertook a series of scientific and bird collecting expeditions to Queensland and later PNG. He died of fever in Sydney in 1880 on the return trip from PNG after being robbed of all his specimens and equipment.
Samuel Albert White assumed the mantle of his father. From January 1881, at the age of ten, White acted as family leader, became thoroughly involved in natural science, and developed a degree of perseverance and dogmatism for which he was to become well known.
He was an avid plant and bird collector. He collected along the Murray River in South Australia in 1887, in Queensland in 1891, and conducted a series of expeditions between 1911 and 1926 to north-eastern South Australia, Queensland and central Australia. The collections from several of these expeditions were described by J.M.Black, and are now in AD.
His Australian expeditions were interupted by a spell as a Lieutenant, later Captain, in the Australian Imperial Contingent in the Boer War. He later undertook big game hunting trips to Africa. He used the title 'Captain' for the rest of his life. In later years he became involved with the Boy Scout movement.
Source: Extracted from: A.E.Orchard (1999) A History of Systematic
Botany in Australia, in Flora of Australia Vol.1, 2nd ed.,
ABRS. [p. 77, where the date of the Murray River expedition is incorrectly given as 1877. Consult for source references]; Linn, Rob (1989), Nature's Pilgrim, SA Government Printing Office, Adelaide.
Portrait Photo: extracted from a photo taken on an African expedition, part of the S.A. White Collection, held by the South Australian Museum, reproduced on p.37 of 'Nature's Pilgrim', by Rob Linn, 1989, SA Govt Printer.