Stephen M. White Drive

This 1932 street honors Stephen Mallory White (1853-1901) who, while serving in the U.S. Senate (D-CA) between 1893 and 1899, secured federal funding for San Pedro Harbor as the Port of Los Angeles, thus ending the fierce battle between local harbor proponents and the powerful railroad tycoon Collis Huntington, who lobbied for Santa Monica as the port. Born in San Francisco and raised in Santa Cruz County, Steve White graduated from Santa Clara College (now University) in 1871, passed the bar in 1874, and set up practice in L.A. later that year. He first ran for district attorney in 1875 and was finally elected in 1882. White’s ambitions would take him to the CA State Senate and ultimately to Congress but he died at 48, an apparent victim of overwork. His legacy has been tarnished by his anti-Chinese sentiments – all too common amongst California politicians of his day – but as of this writing his statue, installed in DTLA in 1908 and moved to this street in 1989, still stands.