Jerry White is an American political activist and co-founder of Survivor Corps. He is a recognized leader of the historic International Campaign to Ban Landmines, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and co-founder of Survivor Corps (formerly Landmine Survivors Network — the first international organization created by and for survivors to help victims of war rebuild their lives).
In 1984, White lost his leg — and almost his life — in a landmine accident. According to an interview he gave to the Israeli Channel 10, he came to Israel to learn Hebrew as part of his studies of Judaism (though his roots are Irish Catholic). On one occasion he visited northern Israel with a few other American backpackers to follow the Biblical prophets’ footsteps. When they reached the Banias River in the Golan Heights, they decided to go off the beaten track and set up their camp on a nearby hill, where White stepped on a landmine. He said they later learned that the hill was Tel Azaziat, a former battlefield in which many minefields had been laid during the 1960s. White said he was hospitalized in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, and despite having the possibility to receive good medical treatment in the United States, he decided to stay at Tel HaShomer until he was fully recovered and rehabilitated, because he was impressed with the center’s methods of rehabilitating people with serious limb injuries.
Following this incident, White became a co-founder of Survivor Corps (together with Ken Rutherford). He led efforts to draft and enact human rights and humanitarian laws that promote and protect the rights of 650 million people with disabilities.
White arranged for, and escorted, Diana, Princess of Wales, on her last humanitarian mission, to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then spearheaded efforts to promote a mine-free Middle East with King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan.
White has appeared and published extensively in the media; testified before the United States Congress and the United Nations; and received several awards in recognition of his humanitarian and human rights leadership, including: the first International UNA Humanitarian Prize from Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills; the 2001 Paul G. Hearne/American Association of People with Disabilities Leadership Award; the 2000 Mohammed Amin Humanitarian Award; Brown University’s 2000 William Rogers Alumni Award; the Center for International Rehabilitation’s Leadership Award in 1999; and the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.