WHITE, CHARLES MCELROY (13 June 1891-10 Jan. 1977) was chairman and chief executive officer of REPUBLIC STEEL CORPORATION with a reputation as a tough labor negotiator opposing any intervention in collective bargaining.
Born in Oakland, Maryland, to Charles and Estella (Jarboe), White attended grammar school in Hutton, Md. and received a B.S. (mechanical engineering) from the University of Maryland, 1913.
White's introduction to the steel industry came in 1913 as a machinist's helper with the American Bridge Co. (Pa.). Later that year he joined Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. in Pittsburgh as a millwright helper, working up to general superintendent in 1919. White became superintendent of J&L's subsidiary Monongahela Connecting Railroad, 1920-1927 and Aliquippa Railroad, 1927-1929.
In 1930 White came to Cleveland as assistant vice president of operations at Republic Steel. He served as vice president of operations, 1935-1945; president, 1945-1956; CEO, 1955-1960; and chairman, 1956-1960. Retiring as chairman in 1960, White remained a director until 1966, and honorary chairman until his death.
As Republic's leader White spent millions to improve and expand production facilities, making Republic one of the nation's leading steel producers. His expertise on blast furnaces helped make Republic a leader in developing an electric model. White's reputation in the steel industry earned him numerous honors and awards.
White helped found the Cleveland Development Foundation, Boys Club of Cleveland, and raised millions for area charities and institutions. In 1955 he received the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce medal for distinguished public service.
White married Helen Bradley in 1918. They had one daughter, Jean. An Episcopalian, White is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.