Betty White’s Father, a World War I Veteran and Radio Maker, was Born in Michigan
Longtime television legend and in-general, wonderful human being on all accords, Betty White passed away on December 31, 2021 at the age of 99. She was only a couple of weeks shy of her 100th birthday and the news started to break just as New Year's Eve was setting in, stunning the world as everyone was getting ready to ring in the new year.
White always seemed like a family member to many, despite her celebrity status. A grandmother, an aunt, a sister... she was just always there and appreciated. Her career spanned virtually the entire history of the television medium, with her roots in radio before that. She was on game shows for decades and then especially warmed our hearts during her most famous role, playing Rose Nyland on the NBC show The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992.
But one thing many may not know about the late White is that she does have a Michigan connection. Although she never lived in the state, her father Horace was born in the Upper Peninsula, living there very early in his life. When he eventually married, the family lived in Illinois and later California. He fathered Betty, an only child, with his wife Christine. White said on numerous occasions that her parents were supportive of her interest in pursuing an acting career from the very beginning.
According to findagrave.com, PFC Horace Logan White was born on May 30, 1899, in Negaunee Township, located in Marquette County. He was part of a Trench Mortar Battery, 4th Division, serving for the United States during World War I. Horace, his wife, and baby daughter Betty moved to Alhambra, California in 1923, and later moved to Los Angeles during the Great Depression.
The obituary says that he actually built radios to make extra money, selling them wherever he could. But being at the height of the Great Depression, with many people having limited income, he sometimes would trade the radios in exchange for other goods, even dogs on some occasions. Betty was long known for being an animal lover and said her parents were too.
Horace died on November 16, 1963, at the age of 64 in Los Angeles. Although his family lived in Michigan when he was born, they moved to Wisconsin by the next year. So he spent very little time in Michigan but it's still a little-known connection that Betty had to our state. She will certainly be dearly missed.