Ernest Purcell White Jr., 54, radio talk-show host

October 18, 2002

Ernest Purcell White Jr., a former radio talk-show host, gospel singer and community affairs director at WUDC-FM in Washington, died Monday of complications from AIDS at Heartland of Hyattsville Nursing Home. He was 54 and lived in Washington.

Born and raised in Richmond, Va., Mr. White earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Howard University in 1969 and did graduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth.

Moving to Washington in the early 1970s, he was host of Cross Talk, a call-in show on WUDC, and also appeared on The Ernest White Show on WDCA-TV.

From 1988 to 1998, Mr. White was community affairs director at WUDC. He also wrote articles on a variety of topics, including profiles of Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Dorothy I. Height, as well as jazz and gospel artists for The Washington Afro-American and Washington Informer newspapers.

Mr. Whitehad established Ernest Productions in 1998. He also was a founder of WDCU Mentors, which helped preteen and adolescent males in Southeast Washington. He sang with several gospel groups.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at New Bridge Baptist Church in Richmond.

Survivors include his mother, Hazel L. White of Richmond; two brothers, Anthony D. White of Baltimore, spokesman for Mayor Martin O'Malley, and Ronald L. Sherwood of Silver Spring; a sister, Donna P. Montgomery of Richmond; and his maternal grandmother, Bertha Harris of Richmond. His marriage to the former Joyce L. Brooks ended in divorce.

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