Tom White Passes: Motorcycle Racer & Historian
Tom White, a motorcycle racer, philanthropist and historian and the co-founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties, succumbed to cancer today, Nov. 2, 2017, at his home.
“Tom White was one of the great people in motorcycling,” said Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. “In addition to his personal accomplishments on the track and in the business community, Tom was a wonderful person and a joy to be near.”
In addition to founding White Brothers Cycle Specialties, Mr. White created the World Vet MX Championship and the World Four-Stroke Championship, established the Early Years of Motocross Museum and competed as AMA National No. 80 in flat-track competition from 1971 to 1976.
Mr. White was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2014.
“While we mourn the loss of an incredible human being, we also celebrate his life, his achievements, his passion for motorcycles, and his love of friends and family,” the White family said in a statement. “We hope that Tom’s life story serves as inspiration to everyone that fierce determination and good will can yield a life extraordinarily well lived.”
White Brothers grew into a $40 million-a-year company that employed nearly 200 employees at its peak, the family said. Mr. White sold the business in 2000, turning his attention toward restoring and collecting vintage motocross bikes, culminating in the Early Years of Motocross Museum, situated on his family’s property in Orange County, Calif.
Mr. White’s lasting contributions also included the Edison Dye Motocross Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes the person or persons who have made the largest impact on the growth of motocross in America.
Mr. White’s family said that he enjoyed announcing motorcycle races during the past several years at the weekly REM motocross series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. This year, Mr. White was honored with a monument along Glen Helen’s Walk of Fame.
Mr. White also volunteered many years as an announcer at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, an annual fundraiser for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation.
Mr. White is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren. His family said that he will be honored in a memorial service to be announced at a future date.