July 9: White Stripes Founder Jack White is 36-years-old today.

It's official: On February 2, Jack White and Meg White announced The White Stripes are officially dissolving and "will make no further new recordings or perform live." They said there are a "myriad of reasons" for the breakup, but the main reason is to "preserve what is beautiful and special about the band."

The last recording by the White Stripes was the live album Under the Great White Northern Lights, released in 2010. 

Did you know?

Jack almost became a priest, but after being accepted into seminary, he changed his mind because he didn't think they'd allow him to bring his new amplifier with him.

He was ranked #17 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."


During the 1990s, John Anthony White better known as Jack White and often credited as Jack White III - but whose real name is John Anthony Gillis - was a part-time musician in various underground bands in Detroit, while working by day as an upholsterer.

His first band, The White Stripes created a string of critically acclaimed albums, with their third, White Blood Cells, catapulting them to international stardom.

In 2005, White became a founding member of the rock band The Raconteurs. In 2009, he became a founding member, and drummer of his third group, The Dead Weather.
White's popular and critical success lead to collaborations with other renowned musicians, such as Beck, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan and Loretta Lynn, whose 2004 album Van Lear Rose he produced and performed on.

In 2010, he worked and recorded with the Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson.

John Anthony Gillis, was the youngest of ten children in Detroit, Michigan. Jack was an altar boy, in the Catholic church which landed him an uncredited role in the 1987 movie The Rosary Murders, filmed mainly at Holy Redeemer parish in southwest Detroit.

As a child he was a fan of classical music. Jack attended the prestigious Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI where he studied Music.

Jack White began playing drums at the age of six. When he was a teenager, he was hooked on the blues and 1960s rock. He and his friend, Dominic Suchyta, would listen to records in White's attic on weekends and began to record cover songs on an old 4-track reel to reel. Jack has said in many interviews that Son House's "Grinnin' In Your Face" is his favorite song of all time.

At 15, White began an upholstery apprenticeship with a family friend, Brian Muldoon. White says Muldoon introduced him to punk music and convinced Jack to play guitar. The two recorded an album, Makers of High Grade Suites, as The Upholsterers. White later started a one-man business of his own, Third Man Upholstery. White claims that it was unprofitable, because of his complacency about money and his unconventional business practices including writing bills in crayon.

Afterwards, Jack landed his first professional gig, as the drummer for the Detroit band Goober & the Peas. He also played in other local bands and did solo shows

White formed The White Stripes in 1997, along with Meg White whom he met when she was a bar maid. They married, and Jack took her last name White. (When they divorced, he kept the name White, Meg remarried and took her new husband's last name. Got it?)

The White Stripes began as part of the Michigan garage rock underground music scene, playing with local bands such as Bantam Rooster, The Dirtbombs, The Paybacks, Rocket 455, and The Henchmen, among others.

In 1998, The White Stripes were signed to Italy Records, a small and independent Detroit-based garage punk label, by Dave Buick. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1999, and a year later the album was followed up by the cult classic De Stijl. The album eventually peaked at #38 in Billboard Magazine's Independent Albums. When they performed, Jack and Meg  dressed only in red, white, and black.

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In 2001 the band released White Blood Cells. The album's stripped-down garage rock sound drew critical acclaim in the UK and soon afterward in the US, making The White Stripes one of the more acclaimed bands of 2002. The album was followed up in 2003 by the commercially and critically successful Elephant. The album's first single, "Seven Nation Army, " was the band's most successful song.

The band's fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan, was recorded in Jack's home and marked a change in the band's musical direction, with piano-driven melodies and experimentation with marimba and a more rhythm-based guitar playing by White.

The band's sixth album, Icky Thump, released in 2007, entered the UK Albums Chart at number one and debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The album's sound also included more punk, garage and blues influences than its predecessor. In late 2007, the band cancelled tour dates due to Meg White's acute anxiety.

In July 2007, The White Stripes made history by playing the shortest concert ever by only playing one note, in St John's, Newfoundland. They played a full show later that night at the Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's.

White formed The Raconteurs in 2005 along with Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler. The group's first record was "Steady, As She Goes" which White and Benson co-wrote. That year, they recorded their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers. The band released its second album, Consolers of the Lonely and its first single "Salute Your Solution" simultaneously in 2008. The album received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.

In early 2009, Jack White formed a new group called The Dead Weather with The Kills frontwoman Alison Mosshart. White played drum and sings. The band also includes The Raconteurs bassist Jack Lawrence and Queens of the Stone Age keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita. The group released their debut album Horehound, in 2009 on White's Third Man Records label.

Their next album, Sea of Cowards was released on May 7 in Ireland, then on May 11, 2010, in the U.S. and May 10 in the United Kingdom, and again, on White's Third Man Records.
In 2008, White collaborated with Alicia Keys on the song "Another Way to Die," the theme song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

He performed five songs for the Cold Mountain movie soundtrack; "Sittin' On Top Of The World," "Wayfaring Stranger," "Never Far Away," "Christmas Time Soon Will Be over" and "Great High Mountain."

Photo by Will Fresch
In 2009 Jack White was featured in It Might Get Loud, a film in which he, Jimmy Page, and The Edge come together to discuss the electric guitar and each artist's different playing methods. White's first solo single, "Fly Farm Blues," was written and recorded in 10 minutes during the filming of the movie, in August 2009.