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Clayton Samuel White papers

Identifier: HHC 303

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection reflects Dr. Sam White's career as an administrator and researcher, predominately with the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research. The bulk of the material dates from 1955 through 1980.


  • 1932-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1980

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research with the exception of a few selected restricted files.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biography / History

Clayton Samuel White, known as Sam, was born in Fort Collins, Colorado on October 11, 1912. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1934 with a degree in psychology and minors in mathematics and physics. Having won a Rhodes Scholarship in 1935, he earned a baccalaureate in physiology at Oxford and received a year and a half of credit at the medical school of the University of Colorado, where he received his medical degree in 1942. Immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Dr. White entered service in the navy. While in the service, Dr. White conducted research on oxygen masks and liquid oxygen converters on Naval aircraft, among other projects. It was during this period that Dr. White made the acquaintance of William Randolph Lovelace II. This meeting began a series of collaborations that would eventually draw Dr. White out of the navy and into New Mexico.

In 1947, Dr. Lovelace recruited Dr. White to be director of research of the newly organized Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tempted by the opportunity to return to the west, Dr. White left the Navy and began work with Lovelace. With a substantial contract from the Atomic Energy Commission to study the blast and shock effects of big explosions, Dr. White developed mathematical formulae to explain why one building might be leveled and the one next to it, remain standing. When Dr. Lovelace was killed in a plane crash in 1965, Dr. White became director of the Lovelace Foundation. Through the years at the Foundation, Dr. White worked on problems of aging, memory loss, hypothermia, cosmic rays, geology and pollution of the upper atmosphere.

From 1974 to 1979, Dr. White was the president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. Among his many honors, Dr. White was awarded the State of New Mexico Distinguished Public Service award in 1973, the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service Award in recognition of distinguished patriotic service from 1955 to 1960, the University of Colorado's Alumnus of the Century Award, and the Dubious Achievement in Thermodynamics of Popping Corn from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Employee Council. Dr. White died on April 26, 2004 at Lovelace Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


14 cubic feet


The collection documents the career of Dr. Sam White, a physician/scientist with the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Related Material

There are twenty-four oral histories related to the Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research including one with Dr. White. The Lovelace Foundation for Medical Education and Research Records also contains materials donated by Dr. White.

Separated Material

The photographs from one scrapbook were added to the Photograph Collection.

Processing Information

The collection was partially processed by Janet Johnson. Peggy McBride, Alex Cosby, Alex Lopez, and Consuelo Salazar completed the processing.
Guide to the Clayton Samuel White Papers, 1932-1998
Peggy McBride
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center Repository

MSC 09 5100
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque New Mexico 87131 United States