<In fact, Greg White was better known as a
homebirth Doctor. He was the first in Illinois in the modern era. Four of my
children were attended at birth by this great man. Greg Cryns>
Prominent breast-feeding advocate
Special to the Tribune
Published June 18, 2003
When Gregory J. White was a young doctor in Franklin Park in the 1950s, he
noticed a sense of frustration among his patients who wanted to breast-feed
their children, but had no resources or support. He suggested to his wife
and her friends that they form a group to offer that support during a time
when breast-feeding was often discouraged.
From that point in 1956, seven women formed La Leche League, .
"His impact on society has been phenomenal," said Marcia Lutostanski, acting
executive director of La Leche International. "He improved the physical and
emotional health of millions of babies and their mothers through the
Dr. White, 82, died Monday, June 16, in his River Forest home from
complications of leukemia.
Born in Chicago, Dr. White graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park
and attended Loyola University and medical school, said his daughter Anne
He married in 1944, and he and his wife, Mary, moved around to Army bases
where Dr. White served in World War II. He returned to Oak Park and did a
residency at Loretto Hospital, where he later became president of the
medical staff. After going into general practice in Franklin Park, his
office soon became known as the place for young mothers to go who wanted to
experience natural childbirth, his daughter said.
When his wife, the mother of his 11 children, and her friends experienced
problems breast-feeding, they turned to Dr. White, who gave them the idea of
forming the league.
Dr. White also named the organization and supported it at conventions and
He practiced for 50 years and, before it was popular, allowed fathers in the
delivery room, his daughter said.
"Throughout his career he was unique and recognized there was a pretty big
void out there for women. He was very active in promoting causes such as
natural childbirth and family issues," his daughter said.
Dr. White was also a founding member of the American College of Home
Obstetrics and the Catholic Physicians Guild and served as president of
both. He was also past president of the West Suburban Serra Club, an
organization that encourages men to join the priesthood, and was active in
the anti-abortion movement.
Others survivors include his wife, three sons, Joseph, William and Michael,
who are all physicians; six other daughters, Mary Catherine Thornton, Mary
Regina Stirton, Mary Dooley, Clare Daly, Maureen Smillie and Elizabeth
Dillon; 54 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in Drechsler, Brown and
Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Funeral services will be
at 9:15 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, followed by a 10 a.m. mass in St.
Luke Catholic Church, 528 Lathrop Ave., River Forest.
Copyright © 2003, Chicago Tribune
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