Nellie Gray (activist)

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Nellie Jane Gray (June 24, 1924[1] – August 2012) was an American pro-life activist who founded the annual March for Life in 1974, following the Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade, which decriminalized abortion the previous year.

Born in and a native of Big Spring, Texas, and later a Roman Catholic convert, she enlisted on June 27, 1944 at Camp Bennett, Texas and served as a corporal in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II.[2] She later earned a bachelor's degree in business and a master's in economics from Georgetown University Law School. She was an employee of the federal government for 28 years, working in the Departments of State and Labor, while attending Georgetown University Law School. She found herself practicing law before the U.S. Supreme Court. After Roe v Wade, she retired from professional life and became a pro-life activist, beginning with the March for Life.[3] She died in August 2012 at age 88; her body was discovered at her home in Washington, D.C. on August 13, 2012.[4]


  1. ^ "March for Life founder passes away". Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2005.
  3. ^ Jolivet, Dave (January 22, 2010). "At 84, Pro-life Leader Nellie Gray Marches On". American Catholic. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nellie Gray, founder of March for Life, dies". Fox News. August 14, 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 

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