People of Brookline

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Norman Hill White
He owned a bookbinding firm and a publishing company, served as state representative from Brookline for five years, was a director of the Brookline National Bank, and was a director of the Brookline Friendly Society.

In 1896, he married Gertrude Steese. The wedding was held in the house of her parents at 105 Gardner Rd. and was considered to be a major event on the social calendar. The couple lived at several nearby locations until the death of Gertrude’s father, in 1902, when they moved in with her mother at the Gardner Road house. They continued to live at 105 Gardner Rd. unit his imprisonment in 1927.

He was an ally of Louis Brandeis, later the first Jewish justice of the United Supreme Court, in several policy battles and was a vigorous defender of Brandeis when the latter faced opposition to his appointment to the high court. Oddly, just four years after Brandeis’ accession to the court, White’s company published the first American edition of the anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is unclear what role White had in its publication; he worked in military intelligence during the First World War and may have been exposed to anti-Bolshevik, anti-Jewish propaganda. He later ran into financial difficulties and served two-and-a-half years in prison for larceny for securing bank loans based on false statements.