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Home News Afro Briefs Originally published July 01, 2013

Former US Rep. William H. Gray, Majority Whip, UNCF President and Philly Pastor Dies at 71

by Associated Press

  •   Click on the photo to view additional Photos.
    In this Feb. 4, 2007, file photo, The Rev. William H. Gray III applauds on stage at the Bright Hope Baptist Church during services in Philadelphia. Gray, who rose to influential positions in Congress while remaining pastor of his north Philadelphia church for 3½ decades, has died, a family spokesman said Monday, July 1, 2013. He was 71. Photo/Rusty Kennedy, File (AP File Photo)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A family spokesman says former U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III, who rose to influential positions in Congress while remaining pastor of his north Philadelphia church for 3½ decades, has died. He was 71.

Former aide William Epstein said Gray passed away suddenly on Monday while in London with one of his sons to attend the Wimbledon tennis championships.

Gray was elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1978 and served as budget committee chairman and majority whip.

In 1991, he resigned to run the United Negro College Fund. In 1994, President Bill Clinton named him special adviser on Haiti.

Gray succeeded his father as pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in 1972 and held that position until 2007.

Mayor Michael Nutter has ordered flags at all city buildings to fly at half-staff.



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