HomeActorRenauld White, 80, From Newark, Shattered Barriers as a Leading African American...

Renauld White, 80, From Newark, Shattered Barriers as a Leading African American Model!

White made history in 1979 as the second Black model to be featured on the cover of 'GQ.'

Renauld White, a groundbreaking Black model and actor best known for his work on the soap opera Guiding Light, passed away at 80.

His longtime friend and fashion designer, Jeffrey Banks, announced the news on social media.


  • Born and raised in Newark, White became the first African American to appear on the cover of GQ magazine in 1979.
  • White worked with renowned European fashion houses and endorsed products for Jamaica’s Board of Tourism and Delta Airlines.
  • As an actor, White garnered acclaim for roles in “When the Chickens Come Home to Roost” and appeared in various TV series.

Banks also confirmed that White passed on June 26 while receiving hospice care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. However, the cause of his passing has not been disclosed.

According to the Whigham Funeral Home’s website, White’s funeral will be held on July 12 in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

Renauld White’s Journey, From Modeling Trailblazer to Acclaimed Actor

African-American Renauld White was born on October 13, 1944, and raised in Newark, NJ.

He attended Oliver St. School, Alexander St. School, Ivy Junior High, and Westside High School.

He continued his education by taking night classes at Rutgers University. White’s remarkable acting and model career began during significant social upheaval.

Because of his determination, Renauld became the first African American to appear on the groundbreaking cover of GQ magazine in 1979.

His image subsequently graced over 20 issues of GQ, inspiring an entire generation of Black men to pursue their dreams.

White worked for prestigious European fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent, Valentino, Armani, and Versace.

He endorsed commercial products and services for Jamaica’s Board of Tourism, Delta Airlines, Bank of Boston, and Miller Lite Beer.

Moreover, not only in modeling did he make his name big in acting, too.

Renauld White received critical acclaim as an actor for his regional theatre work, notably for his roles as Julius Caesar and Malcolm X in “When the Chickens Come Home to Roost.”

In addition, the actor is known for roles in Guiding Light (1952), Central Park (2017), and Gun Hill (2014).

In a 2011 interview with WWD, Renauld White expressed his efforts to advocate for greater diversity in the modeling industry through Wilhelmina Models.

I wanted to bring about change. I really confronted the establishment about why there were not more Black male images,” he said. “At first, I thought I was going to get thrown in jail and beaten up because of my approach. But then they realized that they were wrong, that they were behind society and behind the times, and that they had to listen to me.

Renauld White

Committed to community service, White shared his modeling and acting experiences through lectures and motivational speeches delivered to students nationwide.

White indeed broke the barriers and carved himself into everyone’s heart.

Despite not having a dedicated Wikipedia page, his impactful journey can be explored through his IMDb profile.

He will always be remembered as a great example who achieved his dreams and reached remarkable heights.

Additional Information

  • Renauld White served as an ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA, engaging in grassroots work to support the foundation’s mission of promoting social change in the communities it represents.
  • White achieved several historic milestones in his career, such as being the first African American male model to endorse a men’s hair product (Vitalis) marketed to White men.
  • Renauld White has an estimated net worth of around $5 million.
Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta
Meet Deepti Bhatta, a passionate writer and content editor who brings a fresh perspective to The Departure Film. With her keen interest in the entertainment industry, Deepti crafts articles that inform, inspire, and entertain readers, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. In her spare time, she enjoys binge-watching movies and series, as well as traveling to new destinations.


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