Perry White

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Perry White and Morgan Edge. Art by Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte, 1979.

Perry White

Editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper where Clark Kent (Superman), Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen work as reporters.

The "gruff" (Act No. 302, Jul 1963: "The Amazing Confession of Super-Perry White!"), "irrascible" (S No. 49/2, Sep 1947: "Clark Kent's Most Dangerous Assignment!"), "Hard-boiled" (S No. 16/1, May/Jun 1942: "The World's Meanest Man"; and others), "tough" (S No. 72/2, Sep/Oct 1951: "The Private Life of Perry White!"), "dynamic" (S No. 73/3. Nov/Dec 1951: "Perry White vs. Clark Kent!"), "sentimental" (S No. 16/1, May/Jun 1942: "The World's Meanest Man"), warm-hearted (Act No. 269, Oct 1960: "The Truth Mirror!"; and others), "two-fisted crusading editor" (S No. 72/2. Sep/Oct 1951: "The Private Life of Perry White!") who has been the editor of the Daily Planet for nearly seven full decades (S No. 7/1, Nov/Dec 1940; and many others). An implacable foe of censorship and defender of press freedom (S No. 11/1, Jul/Aug 1941; and others) whose hard-hitting crime reporting once earned him a Pulitzer Prize, he is a giant of American journalism (S No. 72/2, Sep/Oct 1951: "The Private Life of Perry White!"; see also Act No. 297, Feb 1963: "The Man Who Betrayed Superman's Identity!"), "the best editor in the business," a man whose unique "brand of slam-bang, no-holds-barred journalism has made the Daily Planet the biggest paper in Metropolis!" (S No. 73/3, Nov/Dec 1951: "Perry White vs. Clark Kent!").

Perry White first appears in the chronicles in November-December 1940, although, in his initial appearances, he is referred to only by his last name (S No. 7/1; and others). In May-June 1941 editor White is referred to by his full name—Perry White—for the first time in the chronicles (S No. 10/2).

Perry White lives with his attractive white-haired wife, Alice White (SF No. 175, Feb/Mar 1976) in a one-story ranch-style house "on the outskirts of Metropolis" (Act No. 278, Jul 1961: "The Three Super-Powers of Perry White!"). The couple have three sons: Will White, Perry White, Jr., and Hank White, the youngest of the three (SF No. 175).

Perry White is one of Superman's "best friends" (Act No. 243, Aug 1958: "The Lady and the Lion"; and others). The Man of Steel has dedicated a room to Perry White in his Fortress of Solitude (Act No. 268, Jul 1961: "The Super Powers of Perry White!"; S No. 152/1, Apr 1962: "The Robot Master!").

In addition to being the editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White is also president of the Magazine and News Association (Act No. 155, Aug 1958: "The Cover Girl of Mystery!"). A Native American tribe has made him an honorary chief, bestowing upon him the tribal name Chief Stony Voice (Act No. 200, Jan 1955: "Tests of a Warrior!").

In the course of his long and colorful career, Perry White has assumed a number of alternate identities, including those of Masterman, the Mental-Man, Anti-Superman, and Professor Von Schultz.

Interestingly, a number of individuals in various times and places are perfect Perry White look-alikes, including the editor of the Daily Zorian, a so-called "telenewspaper" on the planet Zor (Act No. 168, May 1952: "The Menace of Planet Z!"). Parri Wyte, a "remote descendant" of Perry White, who edits the Daily Solar System in the thirtieth century C.E. (Act No. 215, Apr 1958: "The Superman of Tommorrow"). Ar-Rone, the reformed criminal who is Perry White’s double in the Kandorian Look-Alike Squad (Act No. 309, Feb 1964: "The Superman Super Spectacular!"); and the Perry White look-alike who is also named Perry White, whom Superman and Batman encounter during a visit to an extra-dimensional "parallel world" (WF No. 148, Mar 1965: "Superman and Batman – Outlaw!"). On the planet Oceania, Chester King’s editor at the Oceania Network bears a striking resemblance to Perry White (Act No. 265, Jun 1960: "The Superman from Outer Space!"). The Legion of Super-Heroes employs a life-like Perry White robot as part of an elaborate hoax they play on Superman and Supergirl (S No. 152, Apr 1962: "The Robot Master!"). Superman also encounters a life-like android of Perry White during a time-journey to Metropolis one million years in the future (Act No. 300, May 1963: "Superman under the Red Sun!").

Early Career

Perry White.jpg

Perry White's background is treated inconsistently in the chronicles. According to Superman No. 151/1, White spent his boyhood in Metropolis, where he attended Public School No. 84 (Feb 1962: "The Three Tough Teenagers!"). However, two other texts dealing with Perry White portray him as living with his grandfather, steamboat captain Josiah White, in 1906 San Francisco (S No. 168, Apr 1964: pts I-II--"Luthor --Super-Hero!"; "Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor!") and as the operator of a shoeshine stand in 1920s Chicago (S No. 142/2, Jan 1961: "Superman Meets Al Capone!"). All accounts agree, however, that even as a youngster, Perry White had a burning desire to pursue a career in journalism (S No. 142/2, Jan 1961: "Superman Meets Al Capone!"; and others).

Significant Adventures

In spite of the fact that Perry White appears in the chronicles more often than any other character besides Superman and Lois Lane, the overwhelming majority of his appearances are inconsequential. Therefore, the article that follows deals only with those adventures in which Perry White plays at least a minimally significnt role.

In November-December 1940 Perry White --referred to in his initial appearance only by his last name-- makes his textual debut as editor of the Daily Planet (S No. 7/1; and others).

In May-June 1941 editor White is referred to by his full name --Perry White-- for the first time in the chronicles (S No. 10/2).

In July-August 1941 Perry White punches Rolf Zimba in the jaw when the terrorist leader barges into the offices of the Daily Planet and demands the right to censor all forthcoming news stories concerning his Gold Badge Organization (S No. 11/1).

In May-June 1942, after the Daily Planet Building and all its occupants have been transported to the fourth dimension by the evil Mister Sinister, Perry White and Lois Lane are tied to stakes in an extra-dimensional valley as human sacrifices to a fearsome dinosaur-like "shadow monster". They are rescued by the heroic intervention of Superman, who battles the monster, defeats the villain, and ultimately restores the "kidnapped" Daily Planet Building to the earthly dimension (S No. 16 : "Case of the Runaway Skyscrapers!").

In May-June 1943, after the Prankster has copyrighted the English alphabet, Perry White finds himself forced to pay the villain $2,000 a week for permission to print the Daily Planet (S No. 22 : "The Great ABC Panic!")

In July-August 1946, after Superman has complained aloud about being forced to "make a career out of saving Lois Lane's life", Perry White hires Pat Malarkey to serve as a bodyguard to both Lois Lane and Clark Kent (S No. 41 : "Clark Kent's Bodyguard!").


(See also Perry White of Earth-2)

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