* William S. White, 88, World War II correspondent, political reporter, columnist and Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer, died Saturday in Louisville, Ky. He had been in failing health since a stroke about eight years ago, said his wife, June McConnell White. He began his journalism career in the 1920s while a student at the University of Texas and joined the Associated Press at the age of 20. He covered Washington and World War II for the AP, then joined the New York Times in 1945. He was the Times' chief congressional correspondent in 1958 when he left to write a syndicated column. "The Taft Story," his biography of Robert A. Taft, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1955. Taft, a Republican senator from Ohio, unsuccessfully sought his party's presidential nomination in 1952. As a reporter and a columnist, Mr. White forged close ties to a succession of the country's most powerful leaders, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. His other books include "The Citadel," based on his experience covering the Senate, and his memoirs, "The Making of a Journalist." His column, distributed by United Feature Syndicate, appeared in as many as 175 newspapers nationally until he retired in 1973.