White was born in New York in 1872. He attended Princeton University, in the same class of Woodrow Wilson, graduating in 1895. Following graduation, he worked in a variety of jobs, including: lumber jack, roustabout in the oil fields and school teacher. In 1898 he joined the gold rush to the Klondike. He married and moved to Ohio in 1900 following his gold rush days. In 1902, he moved to Marietta, Ohio and he became active in the oil business. He was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1905, serving on the ?Temperance Committee.? He alternately won and lost several elections to Congress in the next few years, and served in the 62nd, 63rd and 65th Congresses in Washington, DC. White served as National Chairman of the Democratic Party for two years in the early 1920s. In the 1930 election he was successfully elected to the Governorship of Ohio, defeating Governor Myers Y. Cooper. His two terms were coincidental during the national depression. He used the National Guard to suppress violence in the coal fields of southeastern Ohio. He twice ran for the U.S. Senate, and was at cross purposes with elements of the "New Deal" and therefore lost their support for his candidacy.
Christy studied under William Merrit Chase in New York, and was a member of the Art Students' League. He worked for several years as an illustrator for Harper's and Scribner's Magazines. He received wide acclaim for his Spanish-American war reporting from Cuba, and in later years devoted his time to portraiture. Some of his most famous portraits include that of William Randoph Hearst of New York, Secretary of State Hughes, Crown Prince Hubert of Italy, and Amelia Earhart. His masterpiece, "The Signing of the Constitution", hangs in the U.S. Capitol Building. His primary residence for many years was the Hotel Des Artistes on West 67th Street in New York City.