Jesse White Tumbling Team Thrilling Audiences Since 1959
Jesse White

Jesse White Jesse White is the Illinois Secretary of State. He was elected to the post on November 3, 1998 by a margin of over 450,000 votes and is the first African-American to serve as Illinois Secretary of State. He was sworn into office on January 11, 1999. He was re-elected to this position in 2002 when he gained majority support from all 102 counties in the state of Illinois. and again in 2006. On November 2, 2010, White was re-elected to a fourth term, winning another landslide victory in which he earned over 2.5 million votes statewide, more than any statewide constitutional candidate in over 30 years.

Prior to his election as IL Secretary of State, White was the Recorder of Deeds of Cook County, the nation's second largest Recorder of Deeds office. He was elected to the post in 1992 and re-elected in 1996.

Prior to his election as Recorder, Jesse White served 16 years in the Illinois General Assembly representing the most culturally, economically and racially diverse district in Illinois. As a state legislator, he built a solid record for fighting crime, improving education and helping senior citizens. White was chairman of the Illinois House Committee on Human Services. He was an active member of the education committee and the select committees on children and aging. His community service office remains open today as a constant source of information and help for the neighborhood in which he has lived and worked all his life.


Since March 1996, Jesse White has served as Chicago's 27th Ward Democratic Committeeman.

Born in Alton, Illinois in 1934, Jesse White now lives on Chicago's near-north side. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1957 from Alabama State College (now Alabama State University), where he was a two-sport star earning all-conference honors in baseball and basketball. In May 1995, White was inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He was an all-city baseball and basketball star at Chicago's Waller High School (now Lincoln Park Academy) and was inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June 1995.

Jesse White served our country as a paratrooper in the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division, Army Reserves and a member of the Illinois National Guard. He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, which was followed by a 33-year career with the Chicago public school system as a teacher and administrator.

He was a gymnast as a kid, taught gymnastics in college and worked as a gymnastics coach and teacher for the Chicago Park District YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for the children residing in Chicago's Cabrini-Green and Henry Horner public housing communities. Since the team's inception, over 13,000 young men and women have performed with the team. White has worked for over 52 years as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success.

Official Web Site for Illinois Secretary of State

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