Dan White


September 2, 1946


October 21, 1985 (aged 39)


  • Police officer
  • Politician

Notable for

City supervisor (1978)
Moscone/Milk assassin

Daniel James "Dan" White was a police officer and politician who served on the Board of Supervisors from January 8 to November 10, 1978. On November 10, he resigned as a supervisor, saying that the job's low-paying salary was not enough to support his family. White was a member of the more conservative wing of the board, and the fellow members of that wing convinced him to withdraw his resignation so Mayor George Moscone could not support a more liberal supervisor to serve the remainder of his term.

Although he was initially inclined to reinstate White, Moscone told White on November 27 that he would not be reinstating him. In response, White shot and killed Moscone in City Hall. White fled Moscone's office before shooting and killing supervisor Harvey Milk, who had encouraged Moscone not to reinstate White. White was arrested for the assassinations, which were announced by board president Dianne Feinstein later that day.

White was tried for the murders of Moscone and Milk. He was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder, which led to outrage throughout San Francisco and caused the White Night Riots. He served five years of a seven year sentence. Two years after his release, he returned to San Francisco and committed suicide. The San Francisco Weekly called White "perhaps the most hated man in San Francisco's history."

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