Alan D. White was born in 1923 in Rahway ,NJ. He attended high school in Perth Amboy, NJ, graduating in 1941. After serving overseas (Okinawa) in the US Army as staff sargent in charge of SCR545 anti-aircraft radar, he returned to the US in 1946 and was discharged at Fort Dix, NJ. He matriculated at Rutgers University in 1946 majoring in physics (courtesy of the GI Bill of Rights), graduating with a BSc in 1949. He then applied for and was granted a graduate assistantship at Syracuse University physics department. After receiving his MSc, degree he left Syracuse for a position at Federal Telecommunications Laboratory working in the gas discharge group on gaseous discharge microwave detectors. In 1953 he joined the gaseous discharge group at Bell Telephone Laboratories working on the development of talking path gas diodes for replacing the mechanical relay in telephone switching networks. The first all electronic switching network using a new type of hollow cavity cathode (patent 2926277) was implemented in a trial in Morris Illinois in 1958. Subsequently he worked on the development of photomultipliers for network use, and high intensity arc lamps for optical pumping. In 1962, he and a colleague, Dane Rigden, at the request of the Army Signal Corps built an infra-red HeNe gas laser for the Signal Corps Laboratory in Redbank, NJ. This work led to the invention (patent 3242439) of the first continuous visible laser, the red HeNe gas laser operating at 6328 Angstoms. A series of papers elucidating the properties and mechanisms of the red laser were published in subsequent years in collaboration with others in the department. In 1972 he joined the photolithographic group at Bell Labs, learning to design high resolution lens for lithographic cameras used in the manufacture of integrated circuits. Optical design programs using various optimization techniques were just becoming available at that time, ranging from an early card input program by David Gray that ran on a Control Data supercomputer to Accos V which ultimately could run on a fast PC. In the late 1970s to early 80s, upheavals at the Labs brought about by the loss of the Bell System controlled monopoly on telephone service, seriously changed the working environment at Bell Labs, and he retired in 1983.