Willie White was born in Natchez, Mississippi but lived in New Orleans for many years. He was "inspired by God and movies of faraway places" seen on his black and white television. He began painting in the 1960s when he was a janitor at a nightclub on Canal Street in New Orleans. White's brightly colored marker drawings depict various subjects such as religious images, houses, animals, and prehistoric creatures. His shapes are simple and the colors are strong and bold. Early in his career, White reportedly sold his drawings for $2 each. He lived to see them sell as high as $1,200 in some galleries. Willie's work is included in many permanent museum collections, including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Fayette Art Museum and the Morris Museum of Art. Willie White died in New Orleans on December 26, 2000 and was buried in Cranfield, MS.