William H. Gray (Pennsylvania politician)
|House Majority Whip|
June 15, 1989 – September 11, 1991
|Preceded by||Tony Coelho|
|Succeeded by||David Bonior|
|Chair of the House Democratic Caucus|
January 3, 1989 – June 15, 1989
|Preceded by||Dick Gephardt|
|Succeeded by||Steny Hoyer|
|Chair of the House Budget Committee|
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 1989
|Preceded by||Jim Jones|
|Succeeded by||Leon Panetta|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
January 3, 1979 – September 11, 1991
|Preceded by||Robert Nix|
|Succeeded by||Lucien E. Blackwell|
|Born||William Herbert Gray III
August 20, 1941
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||July 1, 2013
London, United Kingdom
|Education||Franklin and Marshall College (BA)
Drew University (MDiv)
Princeton Theological Seminary (ThM)
William Herbert "Bill" Gray III (August 20, 1941 – July 1, 2013) was an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who represented Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district from 1979 to 1991. He also served as chairman of the House Committee on the Budget from 1985 to 1989 and House Majority Whip from 1989 to 1991. He resigned from Congress in September of that year to become president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund, a position he held until 2004.
As an African American, he was the fourth-highest-ranking member of the House at the time of his resignation and a minister in Philadelphia. He was co-founder of the government lobbying and advisory firm, Gray Loeffler LLC, headquartered in Washington D.C.
Gray was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in St. Augustine, Florida, where his father was president of Florida Normal and Industrial Institute (later renamed Florida Memorial University), and later in North Philadelphia where he graduated from Simon Gratz High School. He attended Franklin and Marshall College, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1963. He went on to obtain a master's in divinity from Drew Theological Seminary in 1966 and a master's in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1970. Gray received a L.H.D. from Bates College in 1994.
In 1972, Gray succeeded his father as the senior minister at Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He was elected as a Democrat to represent Philadelphia in the United States House of Representatives in 1978. He represented Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district in the House of Representatives from 1978 until his resignation on September 11, 1991. He was the first African-American to chair the House Budget Committee and also the first to serve as the Majority Whip (1989–1991). As chairman of the Committee on Budget, Gray introduced H.R. 1460, an anti-Apartheid bill that prohibited loans and new investment in South Africa and enforced sanctions on imports and exports with South Africa. This bill was an instrumental precursor to the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (H.R. 4868).
Gray resigned from Congress in 1991 to serve as president of the United Negro College Fund from 1991 to 2004. The move was considered a complete surprise and prompted questions as to why he had done so. There was widespread speculation that he had been the subject of an investigation into alleged campaign finance irregularities and a grand jury investigation into his church's financial dealings. He was reported to have struck a deal with Republican Dick Thornburgh, the United States Attorney General and former Governor of Pennsylvania, that he would not run in the U.S. Senate special election in Pennsylvania to replace the late Republican senator John Heinz and in return Thornburgh would drop the investigation into him. Thornburgh went on to run in the special election in November 1991 but lost in an upset to Democrat Harris Wofford.
Outside politics he was also a businessman who has been a director at Dell from 2000. Gray was a director of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Prudential Financial Inc., Rockwell International Corporation, Visteon Corporation and Pfizer. He retired from Bright Hope Baptist Church in 2007 and was succeeded by Kevin R. Johnson.
Gray was married to the former Andrea Dash; they have three sons, William IV, Justin and Andrew. Gray was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Gray died on July 1, 2013, in London, while attending the Wimbledon tennis tournament with his son Andrew. Gray's death came suddenly and no cause of death has been given. He was 71.
Awards and honors
In 1997 he received the Four Freedom Award for the Freedom of Worship
- .William Gray's Profile on Forbes.com
- "Did Dick Cut Bill A Deal? Book: Thornburgh Had Goods On Gray - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Moore, Alexis (1991-06-20). "Why Would Gray Resign? Several Ideas Are Floated - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Thornburgh Aide Linked to Gray Leak : Congress: A Justice Department probe says the chief spokesman and an ex-FBI official confirmed a damaging report on House Democratic leader. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-04-20. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Stone, Chuck (1990-06-13). "Editorials & Opinion | The Conniving Ways Of Dick Thornburgh | Seattle Times Newspaper". Community.seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
- "Pennsylvania's Top Political Activists". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-11-13.
- "Former Congressman William Gray dies". UPI. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- United States Congress. "William H. Gray (id: G000402)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Bio with picture from the National Council of Churches
- William Gray - Forbes Profile
- Dell Profile
- Pew foster care