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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jack White, 63, exposed Nixon tax fraud
The Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Jack White, a reporter whose story on President Nixon's underpayment of income taxes won a Pulitzer Prize and prompted Nixon to utter the famous line, "I am not a crook," died yesterday at 63.
Mr. White died at his Cape Cod home, said WPRI-TV in Providence, where he was a reporter.
He was working for The Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin in 1973 when he found that Nixon had failed to pay a large portion of his income taxes in 1970 and 1971.
Nixon ultimately agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, and Mr. White won a Pulitzer for national reporting.
At an Associated Press Managing Editors convention the month after the story ran, one of Mr. White's colleagues at the Evening Bulletin asked Nixon about his income taxes, and the president replied: "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook."
Mr. White's scoop on Nixon almost didn't happen. The night he was prepared to write the story, the union representing reporters voted to strike. He later recalled rolling the story out of his typewriter.
"I was dreading the information I had was going to get out there. Every day I was checking out-of-town newspapers," he later told The Providence Journal.
The strike ended 12 days later, and the story ran on Oct. 3, 1973.
The story revealed that Nixon and his wife paid just $793 in income taxes in 1970 and $878 in 1971, and received a tax refund totaling more than $131,000 for those two years. Nixon ultimately agreed to pay $476,000 in back taxes.
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company