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WWII veteran, Secret Service officer honored by DC Council on his 105th birthday

Harry White served his country as a soldier and then served in the Secret Service for 25 years.
Credit: WUSA9

WASHINGTON — A Petworth man who has lived in D.C. for nearly a century was honored by D.C. Council on his 105th birthday Monday.

Harry White was born in South Carolina in 1916. White said he moved to D.C. when he was 9 years old. He got his education in D.C., and worked shining shoes and selling cars before he was drafted into military service in 1942.

After serving overseas and fighting in World War II, he came home and worked as a Secret Service Special Officer for 25 years. He said he was one of the first Black people in the Secret Service, and his Captain was the first Black Captain in the Secret Service. 

Over the course of his career, White served under 10 presidents, before he was forced to retire because he went blind in one eye. 

Since his retirement, he has lived in the same home in Northwest D.C. for nearly 70 years. He still lives there today. White has six children and 13 grandchildren.

"I've lived a good life... A few scrapes here and there... but today I'm feeling pretty good!" White said.

White was honored at his home by Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George on his 105th birthday for his extraordinary life, service to the country, and service to the D.C. community. Lewis George presented White with the ceremonial resolution on Monday.

Councilmember Lewis George said it was important to recognize White on his special day.

"We wanted to take an opportunity not to wait till Veteran's Day, but his 105th birthday to say thank you," Lewis George said. "We always say 'Give them they're flowers while they're here' so we passed a resolution at the Council to honor his outstanding contributions to this city. We are so proud to be able to do that."

White offered some simple advice after 105 years.

"Just keep living and do the best you can."

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