It is with sadness that the Kansas City Chiefs announce the passing of former Chiefs tight end and Kansas City Ambassador Walter White.
After a five-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs, White retired from football after the 1979 season and engrained himself in the Kansas City community where his charismatic personality made him a magnet for others.
In 1989, he was a founding member of the Kansas City Ambassadors, creating the group alongside former players and team executives, including team founder Lamar Hunt. The Ambassadors is a collection of former players from throughout the club’s history and is the only group of its kind in the NFL. Individuals are hand-selected based on tenure and their willingness to participate in outreach events and meetings, and they serve as an innovative asset to the Chiefs Community Caring Team in Kansas City and beyond. After founding the group, White served as the inaugural president of the Ambassadors from 1989-98.
Apart from his work with the Ambassadors, White spent decades helping raise millions of dollars for causes across the region and the country, with a personal focus on helping cancer patients and research, including Bra Couture Kansas City, as well as working with numerous local Kansas City union charities.
White spent years as a celebrated musician, performing blues music in Kansas City and beyond. While he never bragged about it, he performed with many well-known artists over the years including Joe Piscopo, Eddie Money, Roy Clark, and others.
He was employed at Commerce Bank in Kansas City for 22 years and most recently served as Vice President of Commerce Bank’s Investment Group.
“My family and I are saddened by the passing of Walter,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “The Ambassadors are an integral part of the Chiefs family and the Kansas City community, and Walter was a vital part of the group’s development. It would be hard to find someone who embraced the values and work of the Ambassadors more than Walter did. We will never be able to thank him enough for everything that he did for the organization both on the field and in the community after his playing days concluded. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family during this difficult time.”
During his five seasons with the Chiefs from 1975-79, White played in 63 games, tallying 163 receptions for 2,396 yards and 16 touchdowns. He originally joined the Chiefs via waivers from Pittsburgh after being drafted in the third round (78th overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He was voted as the club’s Mack Lee Hill Award winner as the team’s top rookie or first-year player following the 1975 season.
White attended Mesa (Colorado) Junior College before transferring to Maryland, where he majored in physical education and finished his collegiate career as the third leading receiver in school history. He was originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, where he attended Albemarle High School.
He is survived by his wife of close to 40 years, Jeri, and three children, Jason, Adam and Whitney.