White joined the staff of the Chicago Sun Times in 1978 and still works there today. He also teaches photojournalism at Columbia College Chicago, and formerly taught at Northwestern University. In 1973 and 1974 White worked for the Environmental Protection Agency`s DOCUMERICA project photographing Chicago and its African American community. White's photographs show the difficulties facing residents as well as their spirit and pride.
White was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism in 1982 for his "consistently excellent work on a variety of subjects." White has also won three National Headliner Awards, was the first photographer inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame, was awarded the Chicago Press Photographer Association's Photographer of the Year award five times, and, in 1999, received the Chicago Medal of Merit.
Hal Buell, the former head of the Associated Press Photography Service, noted that White is one of the best photographers at capturing the everyday vignette. White has published a book about Cardinal Bernardin, but he has yet to publish a book of his work outside the religious realm.
White has said that he lives by three words: faith, focus, flight. "I'm faithful to my purpose, my mission, my assignment, my work, my dreams. I stay focused on what I'm doing and what's important. And I keep in flight—I spread my wings and do it."