Kevin Hagan White was a United States politician best known as the Mayor of Boston, an office he was first elected at the age of 38, and that he held for four terms, amounting to 16 years, from 1968 to 1984. He presided as mayor during racially turbulent years in the late 1960s and the 1970s, and the start of desegregation of schools via court-ordered busing of school children in Boston.
White won the mayoral office in the 1967 general election in a hard-fought campaign opposing the anti-busing and anti-desegregation Boston School Committee member Louise Day Hicks. White was earlier elected Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth in 1960 at the age of 31; he resigned from that office after his election as Mayor.
White is credited with revitalizing the waterfront, downtown and financial districts of Boston, and transforming Quincy Market into a metropolitan and tourist destination. In his first term, he implemented local neighborhood “Little City Halls”, though he withdrew from the concept after narrowly winning the 1975 election, during the Boston school desegregation busing crisis, and he subsequently constructed a classic and centralized city political machine.
White was unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain higher office, Governor of Massachusetts, and Vice President of the United States.