Thomas Whiteside (1918-1997)

Where: Rexford Road

When: 1950-1997


Whiteside was born in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England and studied at the University of Chicago after coming to the United States in 1940. During World War II, Whiteside worked for the Office of War Propaganda. In 1945 Whiteside became a U.S. citizen and took a position with Newsweek as a foreign affairs reporter. In 1947 Whiteside moved to the New Republic, before settling on the staff of The New Yorker in 1950, where he remained for the next 45 years.


At The New Yorker Whiteside wrote on many topics, including musicians, models, the environment, credit-reporting abuses, and changes in the publishing industry. Whiteside is best known for his environmental reporting, specifically his series on Agent Orange, which is credited with bringing about the Senate hearings regarding its dangers. His work also led to the restricted use of Agent Orange, and the termination of its use by the United States in Vietnam.


In his lifetime Whiteside wrote eleven books, many of which were compilations of his articles. His last book was The Blockbuster Complex, about the publishing industry, which was published in 1981. Whiteside died in Cornwall in 1997. 

Thomas Whiteside (1918-1997)