FRANK D. WHITE was born in Durward Frank Kyle on June 3, 1933. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Frank White, adopted him. He graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute and received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1952. After graduation from the academy in 1956, White took a commission in the U.S. Air Force, accummulating more than 1,800 flying hours as a captain. He began a business career in Little Rock in 1961 with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith. White was a senior account executive with Merrill Lynch until 1973 when he joined the management team at Commercial National Bank in Little Rock. He was appointed director of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission in 1975, a position he held until 1977 when he became president and chief executive officer of Capital Savings and Loan in Little Rock. He was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1980. During his tenure, he signed a measure approved by the legislature requiring Arkansas teachers to include "creation science" in the curriculum if the theory of evolution was also taught. The law was later struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge but drew national attention. Governor White was the second Republican ever elected governor in Arkansas. After leaving office, White worked for a Little Rock investment firm, then joined First Commercial Bank as senior vice president. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee named White his state banking commissioner in July 1998. Governor White passed away on May 21, 2003.
Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors' Conference, 1983.Old State House Museum