Also writes as: Robert Dentry ; E. M. Dorkin ; Maros Gray
Born: Established: 2 Apr 1909 Feilding, Manawatu, North Island,
Osmar E. White was a journalist, war correspondent and radio and television scriptwriter; he also wrote novels for children and adults. White moved with his parents to Australia when he was five and his teenage years were spent in Katoomba. White's journalistic career began as a 'stringer' for the Wagga Wagga Advertiser and a contributor to the Sydney Daily Telegraph while he studied at Sydney University. From 1928 to 1933, he worked as a freelance writer in South East Asia, New Guinea, the South Pacific and tropical Australia . By 1934 he was working as chief reporter for the Taranaki Daily News and in 1937 became editor of New Zealand's Radio Record where he wrote copiously under several noms-de-plume including Maros Gray, E. M. Dorkin, O. E. W. and Edison Watt. In 1938 he returned to Sydney with his New Zealand-born wife, Mollie Allan, and joined the Daily Telegraph but soon moved to the Herald & Weekly Times in Melbourne.
One of the first journalists accredited as a war correspondent by the Australian government in 1941, White covered the New Guinea campaigns, including Kokoda. While accredited to the United States fleet, he reported various naval battles before being wounded at Rendova Island. He wrote Green Armour while convalescing and before being posted to Europe where he was attached to the U.S. Third Army. He covered the liberation of Buchenwald, Dachau and Belsen concentration camps and the first Nuremberg Trials. He was the only Australian correspondent present at the signing of the German surrender at Rheims. Back in Australia, he worked for the Melbourne Herald as a feature writer and roving correspondent in the Pacific and South East Asia although he specialised in Papua New Guinea. He was the Australian press representative with the Australian Antarctic summer expedition during the International Geophysical Year in 1956-1957 and in 1960 was seconded to the Department of External Affairs as an independent assessor of Australian aid under the Colombo Plan. In 1963, he retired from newspaper journalism to concentrate on his other writing.
After publishing his first short story when he was seventeen, White went on to publish several hundred short stories and feature articles in Australian, British and American magazines - including the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, The Strand Magazine, the Bulletin and the Australian Journal. Many stories drew on his travel experience and on his hobby of mountaineering. He climbed extensively in the Blue Mountains with Eleanor Dark (q.v.), her husband Eric - who was the Whites' family doctor - and writers Frank Walford and Eric Lowe (qq.v.).
His first novel, Beyond Ceram, published in England in 1931 [untraced], was set in South East Asia, a region he was to report widely during the 1940s and 1950s. He wrote numerous radio and television scripts for Crawford Productions, including Awake the Murdered, D24, Kiap O'Kane, Homicide and Consider Your Verdict. His one-off television drama, Manhaul, was set in Antarctica. His novels include Encounter at Kharmel (writing as Robert Dentry) and Silent Reach as well as three children's books. His non-fiction works ranged from guide books to pictorial books on Australia, memoirs, history and political commentary. (Compiled from information supplied by the author's daughter Sally White.)