Being an abnormally large human, he is roughly five times the size of a normal human. He is always seen with a bandanna around his head and a white captain's coat worn over his bare upper body which has his Jolly Roger symbol on the back of it.
The most prominent feature of his, is his large half-moon shaped mustache that has given him his nickname. However, his hair under his bandanna can be seen as brown.
For unknown reasons, the scar on his chest wasn't present in Ace's flashback when they first met three years ago.
PersonalityHis reign on the sea, reputation and foreboding power have made him overconfident and fearless. In initial appearances he seems unable to see any cause for alarm on any decision he makes and refuses all advice given to him (from his nurse telling him not to drink heavily to Shanks warning him of Blackbeard). However, later revelations show that he is much more thoughtful than he appears. Actions that initially seem to be the result of thoughtless, headstrong bravado actually have strong reasons behind them (his loud declaration that Fishman Island belonged to him freed the island from all pirates and slavery, and his insistence that Blackbeard be punished was merely a cover for Ace, who had set out after him against Whitebeard's wishes).
He also seems to enjoy talking about the past. The first things he talks about when Shanks visits are old memories from the past 22 years. People that were children at that time are still children in his eyes, even men as powerful as his fellow Yonkou Shanks and Admiral Aokiji. Among his philosophies in life is that it is fine when a man decides what to make of his life, as long as he doesn't live to regret it.
A distinguishing feature of Whitebeards personality is his high moral standards. As stated by Buggy the Clown, Whitebeard never forgives the death of a crewmate. His stance, that a man cannot live without some form of moral code, stands in direct contrast to that of his immoral former subordinate, Blackbeard. The ultimate proof of his unwavering sense of right and wrong comes when he declares war with the World Government solely to save Ace's life. He will only go against his moral code in extreme circumstances, such as when he instructed Ace to let Blackbeard go because he had an uneasy feeling about him.
CrewAny nakama from Whitebeard's crew who kills another nakama must be punished by another member of his crew, they are to be hunted down by the commander of that former crewmember's division. Whitebeard's strong stand against crewmate killing is based on his fatherly stance over every member of his crew. As a result of this treatment the whole crew affectionatly refer to him as "Pops". However, Whitebeard does not force commanders to hunt down wayward crewmember's if he has an uneasy feeling about the situation. In the case of Blackbeard, for example, Whitebeard tries to make an exception and stop Ace from hunting down Blackbeard. In spite of Whitebeards advice Ace insists on hunting Blackbeard for the sake of Pops' honor. This is not blind loyalty as Whitebeard is willing to go to war with the World Government to save Ace. In addition, Whitebeard takes full responsibility for the actions of his crew and keeps a stern iron fist outward appearance for non-crew members, falsely claiming to outsiders that he ordered Ace to hunt down Blackbeard.
Whitebeard has a great number of allies from the New World, strong and infamous pirates, among which are "Bohemian Knight" Doma, "Thunder Lord" Makugai, the Decalvan Brothers, "Great Whirlpool Spider" Squardo, Oars Jr., and "Ice Witch" Whitey Bay.
Because of his role as a protector of Fishman Island, Whitebeard is considered a hero by many fishmen, in particular Jinbei of the Shichibukai.
Luffy and Whitebeard stand side by side.
Whitebeard seems to have some form of respect for Luffy after hearing about him from both Ace and Shanks. Whereas Ace had shown excitement that Luffy was on the Grand Line, Shanks had stated that he had given up his arm on a "bet on the New Age". After showing his fierce tenacity, Luffy has managed to gain Whitebeard's respect, something that he does not give to many other "brats". Whitebeard has gone as far as assigning his top commander Marco to act as Luffy's bodyguard during the war.
EnemiesDespite having been rivals to Gol D. Roger he seemed to have a lot of respect for him, to the point that he'd adopt Roger's son, even aiming to help Ace become Pirate King.
Since none of the Yonkou are united together, any other Yonkou is a threat to him and his crew. When he first appears, he receives a letter from Red-Haired Shanks delivered by Shanks' newest crewmate Rockstar. However, before even reading the letter, Whitebeard throws it away, claiming that if Shanks wants to talk, then he should visit in person. He even asks Rockstar to tell Shanks to prepare an expensive bottle of sake when Shanks comes to visit. Most of all, he refuses to accept Shanks as anything more than the snot-nosed kid he was 22 years ago, believing he is 100 years too young to tell him what to do.
He has also made many enemies over the years besides the other Yonkou and World Government. There are many prisoners in the lower levels of Impel Down who wish to kill him because of personal grudges, the only one known by name so far however is Crocodile. Another enemy of his is Blackbeard, for killing Thatch and for Ace's capture and impeding execution.
Abilities and PowersHe is the captain of the "Whitebeard Pirates". He is the only man in the world who could match the late Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, in a fight (the only one to come close, is Marine Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp, said to have cornered Gol D. Roger numerous times), Whitebeard has been given the title of the "strongest man in the world". Whitebeard allegedly controls an enormous pirate fleet (much like Don Krieg's, though considerably more powerful and less numerous) which is divided into numerous corps under the command of a Whitebeard subordinate. Even with his health issues, he is still considered the world's most dangerous and powerful pirate, which raises the question of how powerful he must have been in his prime during the days of Gol D. Roger (though the databook states that he hasn't lost any power from his prime). Whitebeard appears to have some health problems, possibly stemming from his advanced age and severe drinking. He is always surrounded by nurses, when not in battle he uses oxygen tubes, and is hooked up to intravenous tubes and life support systems. Despite this, he still literally drinks sake by the barrel.
Whitebeard is one of the Yonkou, four of the most formidable pirates that rule the second half of the Grand Line, along with Shanks, Kaidou, and an unnamed fourth. They are considered the biggest pirate threats to the World Government.
An example of his power is his "fight" with Shanks as when their swords clash the "the heavens" split in two.
Another testament to this power is the fact that the Shichibukai and World Government are using virtually all their power to prepare to fight him. Also, aboard his ship, the Moby Dick, 23 Marine ships were destroyed in an instant. Whether he destroyed them with his own skill or Devil Fruit ability has yet to be seen.
Whitebeard's powers are so great, that few would dare challenge him or any of his crew, making Ace and Blackbeard two very brave and powerful people. In fact, Whitebeard's reputation is so great, his simple declaration that Fishman Island is his territory is enough to drive slave traders and pirates from attacking the place further, making him far more effective than a treaty signed with the World Government 200 years ago.
Whitebeard was also capable of injuring Ace in self-defense every time the latter tried to sneak-attack him, despite Ace having a Logia Devil Fruit. Whitebeard's retaliation was so effortless, he was able to do this even when sleeping.
Another testament to his strength is that he was able to defeat a Vice-Admiral Giant in mere seconds.