Harvey White was born in Te Awamutu in 1947. He attended school locally before going to New Jersey in 1966 as an American Field Scholar. He then studied medicine at Otago though always returning in holidays to work at the dairy factory. After five years as a junior doctor at Invercargill, he trained as a heart specialist at Greenlane Hospital. In 1981 he went to Harvard Medical School, returning to Greenlane as the inaugural Heart Foundation Senior Fellow in 1984.
Ten years later he was awarded a doctorate of science for his work on new treatments that have saved thousands of lives worldwide. He was also made a Matai (High Chief) in Samoa for his work in preventing and treatment of heart disease. In 1997 he became Honorary Clinical professor of medicine at the University of Auckland and has worked at Greenlane and Auckland Hospitals continuing his collaborative research and consultancy.
Harvey White was inducted into the Te Awamutu Walk of fame in 2006.