Born a slave in Bladen County, George White graduated from Howard University and returned to North Carolina to practice law. He joined the Republican Party and was elected to the General Assembly in the 1880s. He later was prosecuting attorney for the Second Congressional District. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1897-1901. He was the last former slave to serve in Congress and the last African American elected from the South to Congress until 1972.