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White Brothers Founder, AMA Hall of Famer Tom White Has Died; Glen Helen Memorial Ride Set for Nov. 11

Tom White, famed motorcycle racer, business owner, philanthropist, and historian, has passed away after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 68.

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Tom White, famed motorcycle racer, business owner, philanthropist, and historian, has passed away after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 68.

Tom was raised near the ocean in Huntington Beach, California, where he grew up surfing before discovering his life-long passion: motorcycles. He soon found his niche in flat track racing, eventually earning national number 80 as a professional.

In 1976, White founded Tom White’s Cycle Specialties, which would later become White Brothers Cycle Specialties when White partnered with his twin brother, Dan. Over the next 25 years, White Brothers would grow into a nearly $40 million-a-year company that employed nearly 200 employees at its peak. White sold White Brothers in 2000, and turned his attention towards restoring and collecting vintage motocross bikes.

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Over the next decade, White’s collection grew to over 170 motorcycles, including a variety of unique models from brands such as Husqvarna, CZ, Maico, Bultaco, BSA, and others. White believed his efforts were but one piece of a greater industry initiative to ensure the history and legacy of motorcycle racing in the United States remained intact and relevant for future generations of racers and fans.

White’s Early Years of Motocross Museum, located on his family’s private property in Orange County, California, is not open to the public, but it has played host to motorcycle industry events including product launches, professional racing media gatherings, as well as numerous charity fundraising efforts.

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In addition to his role as a motorcycle historian, White discovered another passion over the past few decades: announcing motorcycle races. White became the announcer of the weekly REM motocross series at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, one of his greatest joys. In 2017, White was honored with a monument along Glen Helen’s Walk of Fame. White also served as the announcer for many professional races throughout the United States, reveling in the thrill of all disciplines of motorcycle racing.

In 2014, White was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. And in 2018, White is due to receive the prestigious Dick Hammer lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Trailblazers Motorcycle Club.

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“While we mourn the loss of an incredible human being, we also celebrate his life, his achievements, his passion for motorcycles, and his love of friends and family,” says the White family. “We hope that Tom’s life story serves as inspiration to everyone that fierce determination and good will can yield a life extraordinarily well lived.”

Tom White passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, along several of his favorite motorcycles. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, dear friends, and motorcycle enthusiasts around the world.

Glen Helen Raceway Memorial Ride

Glen Helen Raceway has partnered with the White family to honor Tom White with a memorial ride day and life celebration on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Tom White passed away peacefully in his home in Orange County, California, on November 2, 2017.

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Glen Helen Raceway will be open on Saturday, November 11, from 10 am to 2 pm. Glen Helen staff and the White family will honor Tom’s life in a trackside ceremony at 11 am. The White family invites all friends and motocross enthusiasts to attend Tom’s memorial ride day. All entry fees will be waived in Tom’s honor, but the White family will accept donations to the Early Years of Motocross, which will be distributed among several of Tom’s favorite charitable organizations.

“Tom loved Glen Helen Raceway, both the facility itself and its incredible staff,” says Kristin White Anderson. “Whether it was announcing the REM Series races every weekend, organizing the World Vet Motocross Championship, or working with track owner Bud Feldkamp to procure the AMA National or USGP event, Tom’s second home was that race track. Our family thanks the owner and operators of Glen Helen for honoring him with a wonderful day of riding to celebrate his life and the motorcycle community he loved so dearly.”

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