Member Biography

Mary Jo White 


12/27/1941 -

Mary Jo White (R21) Butler (part), Clarion, Erie (part), Forest, Lawrence (part), Venango, and Warren (part) Counties 1997-2012

Early Life:

Mary Jo White, born December 27, 1941, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, daughter of Joseph E. and Patricia Ransford; Aquinas High School, 1959; Quincy University (B.A.), 1963; University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D.), 1967; married, Judge H. William White; children, H. William III, David Ransford, Allison Patricia; public defender, Venango County, Pennsylvania, 1974-1976; Corporate Secretary, Vice-President, Environmental Government Affairs, Quaker State Oil Corporation, 1976-1995; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1997-2012; Trustee Emerita, Board of Trustees, University of Pittsburgh, member, Pitt Public Health Board of Visitors, 2007-2020.

Early Career:

Associate, law firm of Dale and Woodward; Venango County public defender; vice president, Quaker State, 1976-1995; board member, Northwest Regional Planning and Development Corporation; board member, Center for Rural Pennsylvania Environmental Quality; board trustees, Westminster College; Member, Venango County Association for the Blind and Venango Community Foundation; member, Military Academy Selection Committee 5th Congressional District; chair, Barrow Civic Theatre Foundation; chair, Nursing Advisory Commission of Clarion University.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 21st district, Butler (part), Clarion, Erie (part), Forest, Lawrence (part), Venango, and Warren (part) Counties, 1997; chairwoman, Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, (twelve of fourteen years senate); member, Appropriations, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Judiciary (vice chair), Public Health and Welfare Committees; left office November 30, 2012.


First woman, elected, Senate Republican Leadership, Caucus Administrator, 2001-2006.

Chaired, Senate Environmental Committee, 12 years, involved in every major environmental law passed since 1999, Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection (Growing Greener) Act, Water Resources Planning Act.


Pennsylvania Manual, Biographies of Members of the Senate, pg. 3-23; Volume 114, December 1999. 

Pennsylvania Manual, Biographies of Members of the Senate, pg. 3-22; Volume 115, December 2001.