DC Database

Quote1 The story? How many times do I have to tell you? There's only one story, Lane. Metropolis. She's the story. Quote2
Perry White src

Perry White is a highly respected journalist working as managing editor of the Daily Planet in Metropolis, making him a close associate of Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Clark Kent and by extension Superman.


Perry was born in Metropolis's Suicide Slum area, growing up with a father missing after heading off to war overseas. He became a copy boy at the Daily Planet, beginning a lifetime career that would take him up the newspaper's career ladder. Perry met Lex Luthor when they were children (Luthor also grew up in Suicide Slum) and they were actually friends then (Perry once admitted the he was really the only friend Lex had as a child).[1] At some point when Perry was a young reporter, he went to a small southern town called Melonville to investigate a string of vicious racial related deaths. It was here Perry first met Franklin Stern, a young man about to head off for Harvard Business school, who had several missing family members in the region. Perry and Franklin got off to a rocky start, but soon joined together after Perry saved Franklin from a beating at the hands of the local Aryan Brotherhood. The two investigated the Brotherhood and rumors of genetic experimentation, which lead them to a hidden lair where the Brotherhood had kidnapped and murdered several dozen black men as part of a eugenics program to create a master race of super-men. For helping to expose the plot, Perry won his (first?) Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Ironically enough, the title of the article was "Superman Plot Foiled." Perry and Franklin were often on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but would remain friends, even after Stern bought the Daily Planet years later.[2]

Daily Planet

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DC Rebirth Logo
Superman's origin story has been rewritten and rebooted many times over the years; most notably in John Byrne's 1986 The Man of Steel, Mark Waid's 2003 Superman: Birthright, Geoff Johns' 2009 Superman: Secret Origin and Grant Morrison's 2011 Action Comics. There are several correct definitive historical versions each valid at a different time in his career as a result.
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Perry argues with top reporter Lois Lane.

Perry began to despise his childhood best friend Lex Luthor when the now ruthless media mogul attempted to shut down the Daily Planet. It was revealed that Luthor had lied to Perry's long-time girlfriend Alice so she'd believe him dead while overseas reporting on a war, and used the opportunity to sleep with her. Perry called in every favor he could to keep the newspaper in business, and forgave Alice then married her. They had a child together named Jerry White.[3] Lois Lane got a job from him at the age of 15, proving herself by demanding a position and then breaking into LexCorp Tower to steal files when she was turned down.[4] He would later hire Clark Kent onto his staff when Kent secured the first interview with Superman.[5]

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Perry spots Superman for the first time.

Superman: Birthright changes the details of this story. Lex Luthor is explained to have grown up in Smallville alongside Clark Kent and Lana Lang.[6] Kent interviews for a reporter position and Perry decides that he is too afraid to be a good reporter, refusing to hire him.[7] He reconsiders after Kent displays remarkable diligence and bravery writing an exposé on Luthor, following an attack on the city by sabotaged military helicopters.[8]

Infinite Crisis rebooted the universe again, resulting in another version of the origin story told in Superman: Secret Origin. The Daily Planet is failing in the decline of print journalism, and Perry has been reduced to doing anything he can to make ends meet and keep publishing. Clark Kent is hired despite his inexperience because he's willing to work for their meager salary, and Superman makes his first appearance rescuing Lois Lane.[9] Lex Luthor's media monopoly leads every newspaper in town to smear Superman, except for the Planet which gives him his name using an article by Lois and a photo taken by Jimmy Olsen.[10] The military intervenes to take him down, and General Sam Lane briefly occupies the Daily Planet to protect national security.[11] Superman changes the world's opinion about him, and the Daily Planet is saved from bankruptcy to become the city's most profitable newspaper because of their exclusive interviews.[12]

Story of the Century

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Man of Steel
Superman and his supporting cast had their origins rewritten in the Man of Steel series written by John Byrne, following the Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986. This was part of many sweeping changes made to continuity in the Post-Crisis DC Universe. These stories would be considered the definitive history until his origins were revised again in Superman: Birthright, written by Mark Waid in 2003.

After Jerry White died from a gunshot, Perry and Alice grieved for some time, resulting in Perry taking a leave of absence from the Daily Planet.

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Jerry White is shot dead.

Later, Perry and Alice adopted an orphaned African-American boy named Keith Robert, who soon had his named changed to Keith Robert White. At about this time, Perry learned he had lung cancer.[13] He took another leave of absence for treatment, putting Clark Kent in charge as the Planet's temporary editor. [14]

One of Perry's proudest moments was to attend the wedding of Lois and Clark. He sat in the front row beside Lois's parents (Lois considering him as close a relative as her own family).[15]

After many grueling months of chemotherapy, Perry's cancer went into remission. White returned to the Daily Planet and Clark Kent returned to his position as a reporter.[16]

As the paper continued to struggle, the Planet's owner Franklin Stern sold the paper to Lex Luthor. Luthor, acting out of pure malice, dismantled the paper. He fired everyone except Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and two others who were relocated to Lexcom, Lex's new Internet-based news company. Fortunately, shortly thereafter, Lex sold the Planet to Bruce Wayne for $1 (thanks to a secret deal with Lois Lane). White was hired back as editor-in-chief, and the entire former staff was hired back as well. Though Perry's knowledge of Clark's alter ego is uncertain, it is known that he has found a dusty suit of his star reporter's clothes in a supply closet, including his passport. For this reason, Perry may well suspect that Clark and Superman are the same person, but due to his personal admiration for both Clark and Superman, he has never confided this suspicion or knowledge to anybody.

President Luthor

Perry's editorship has kept the Daily Planet as one of the few newspapers that dared to heavily criticize Luthor (even after Luthor's successful election as President of the United States).

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DC Rebirth Logo

Superman and his supporting cast had their origins revised in the Superman: Birthright series written by Mark Waid in 2003. This rewrote the previous definitive origin story, John Byrne's 1986 mini-series The Man of Steel, to include more elements from the Silver Age character. It would remain in continuity until Infinite Crisis in 2006 established Geoff Johns' Superman: Secret Origin.

Perry's origin story was changed, removing Lex Luthor as his childhood best friend. Lex was instead changed to have grown up in Smallville, as best friend to a young Clark Kent.[17]

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Superman's origins were heavily revised in the Superman: Secret Origin mini-series written by Geoff Johns in 2009; this made the history established by Mark Waid in his 2003 mini-series Superman: Birthright non-canon following Infinite Crisis in 2006. It would remain the definitive origin until 2011 when Flashpoint established the DCnU and Grant Morrison's Action Comics updated the story.

Final Crisis

During the Final Crisis, Perry and Lois were caught in an explosion triggered by Clayface and the Secret Society of Super-Villains.[18] He survived, but was placed on life support.[19]

New Krypton

During Superman: New Krypton, the Planet's attempts to write about the truth are stonewalled by General Sam Lane of Project 7734. Perry is unable to print any of Lois' stories, but instead suggests she "quit" to continue pursuing the truth.[20]


  • There are two famous quotes commonly attributed to the character of Perry White: "Great Caesar's Ghost!" and "Don't call me Chief!"