Minor White (July 9, 1908 – June 24, 1976) was an American photographer born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minor White earned a degree in Botany with a minor in English from the University of Minnesota in 1933.
His first creative efforts were in poetry, as he took five years thereafter to complete a sequence of 100 sonnets while working as a waiter and bartender at the University Club. In 1938, Minor White moved to Portland, Oregon. There he began his career in photography, first joining the Oregon Camera Club, then taking on assignments from the Works Progress Administration and exhibiting at the Portland Art Museum.
After serving in military intelligence during World War II, Minor White moved to New York City in 1945. He spent two years studying aesthetics and art history at Columbia University under Meyer Schapiro and developing his own distinctive style. He became involved with a circle of influential photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams; hearing Stieglitz’s idea of “equivalents” from the master himself was crucial to the direction of Minor White’s mature post-war work.