Media News

Politico’s Harris on the death of Ben White

June 5, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Ben White

Politico Global editor in chief John Harris wrote the following about business journalist Ben White, who died this weekend at the age of 52:


As many of you heard this afternoon, we learned today that our friend and former colleague Ben White died on Saturday due to complications from ongoing heart issues. This is crushing news, and brings to mind so many memories of Ben’s dedication to journalism, his humor, his pride in his family, his passion for sports, his idealism and his kindness.

Ben was a close friend to many in our newsroom and was deeply admired by countless readers across the nation and around the world. Like us, these readers and many colleagues in newsrooms in Washington and New York are heartbroken by his passing. We hope everyone will take a moment to reflect on and appreciate his contributions to POLITICO and the profession broadly.

In my case, I first met Ben nearly 30 years ago when we were both at the Washington Post. Before becoming a reporter himself, he did a tour as researcher to the legendary political columnist David S. Broder. Within a few years, Ben started crafting his own formidable journalistic reputation.

Ben spent more than 13 years at POLITICO chronicling the worlds of economics and finance, spreading wisdom into every corner of Washington and Wall Street. He arrived in our newsroom in 2009 after an already illustrious start to his career — at The New York Times, Financial Times and The Washington Post. He helped build and popularized our Morning Money franchise in the still-early days of newsletters and set the standard for colleagues across our publication and our profession. He chronicled every important news moment from the aftermath of the financial crisis through the aftermath of the Covid crisis before he moved on to another opportunity early last year.

POLITICOs past and present knew him as an unfailingly generous colleague. He was always eager to help his fellow reporters, partnering with dozens of colleagues a year on stories of all shapes and sizes. He was quick on his feet, turning stories around at lightning speed. And he was fiercely competitive on the beat, never wanting to miss a scoop. His warmth and decency toward others showed again and again in every interaction. He set a high standard — professionally as a journalist, and personally as a human — that so many of our colleagues across the industry are remembering today.

In conversation and on social media, Ben was open about his struggles, at various passages of his life, with maintaining good mental health. His candor and sensitivity were a source of support of others who are suffering and in need of help, and this is an important part of his legacy.

Ben grew up in Chevy Chase D.C. where he attended the Edmund Burke School. He graduated in 1994 from Kenyon College and started his three-decade career in journalism at National Journal’s Hotline.

Ben is survived by his two sons, Jacob and Raphael, and their mother, Robin; his brother, Mark; and his partner Sara. Visitation and funeral services will be held this Saturday, June 8, at the Edwards-Dowdle Funeral Home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. with visitation at 2 p.m. and a funeral service at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

With appreciation to all who knew Ben and feel his loss,

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