Philadelphia Mourns Death Of Former US Rep. Bill Gray

Philadelphia Mourns Death Of Former US Rep. Bill Gray

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US Rep Gray US Rep Gray

Tonight, Philadelphia is mourning the loss of Congressman, community and spiritual leader Bill Gray.

William Gray III served six terms in Congress, rising from pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia to the highest ranking African American in the US House of Representatives.

Gray was also a human rights activist, fighting to stop apartheid in South Africa.

A powerful Democrat who worked well across the aisles of Congress, he chaired the budget committee and served as Majority Whip.

Gray resigned his seat in Congress in 1991 to lead the United Negro College Fund.

Sam Katz was a former campaign manager for bill gray.

"The kind of high profile personality Bill Gray was, we don't have on the scene like we once did and Philadelphia is the loser for that," Katz says.

Mayor Michael Nutter issued a statement today. In it, he wrote, "[Gray] helped make our City great by moving politics and governance from the muck and mire of mere political transactions to principled action "

Gray followed his father and grandfather as pastor of Bright Hope.

In Washington, Gray chaired the House Budget Committee.

He passed away while attending the Wimbledon Championships in London.

A spokesman says it appears he died of natural causes.

Gray was 71.

In honor of U.S. Rep. Bill Gray, Mayor Nutter has ordered that all flags at all City buildings and facilities will be at half-staff, starting Tuesday.

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