From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

White, James L.

(born: November 15, 1947  -  died: July 23, 2015) 

Born in Mt. Sterling, KY, James L. White served in the Navy and later attended the University of Massachusetts. He later moved to California, where he had lived for a while before he and Taylor Hackford became the screenwriters for the 2004 film Ray (about Ray Charles). The movie received six Oscar nominations, and Jamie Foxx, in the role of Ray Charles, won an Oscar in 2005 for Actor, Leading Role in the film.

James L. White had written a number of unproduced screen plays. "Ray" was his only featured credit.

James L. White died at his home in Santa Monica, CA, in 2015. He was the son of Elizabeth White, they are enumerated in the 1950 U.S. Census. He was the husband of Elizabeth White and the couple had three children.

For more see R. Copley, "'Ray' writer dared to dream: Kentuckian bucked odds, hit big with biopic," Lexington Herald-Leader, 2/27/2005; Colker, David, "Obituaries: Film writer dies at 67," The Fresno Bee, 07/28/2015, p.B4; Colker, David, "James L. White, 1947-2015," The Los Angeles Times, 07/27/2015, p.7.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Fresno bee (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Los Angeles times (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“White, James L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 17, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-12-01 14:19:56