CRFB Board Member William Gray Passes Away

CRFB board member and former Pennsylvania Congressman William H. Gray III passed away Monday in London, England. Rev. Gray was 71 years old. 

Rev. Gray represented the Second Congressional District of Pennsylvania, soon rising to become the first African American in the 20th century to assume the position of Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. He also served as chairman of the Budget Committee and as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Foreign Operations. In 1991, Rev. Gray resigned from Congress in order to serve as president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund, a philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for African American students. Throughout his career, Rev. Gray helped shape the development of U.S. foreign policy with his avid support for more robust international aid and development initiatives.

Each Sunday, Rev. Gray commuted from his home in northern Virginia to his spiritual home at the pulpit of Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, one of Philadelphia's foremost African American churches. In 1972, Rev. Gray succeeded his father as pastor, becoming the third generation of successive family leadership within the church.

Rev. Gray will be greatly missed, and all of us here at CRFB offer our condolences to his family.