WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NAACP is deeply saddened by the recent loss of William Gray, the first Black Majority Whip in Congress.
Gray was a vocal advocate for civil rights throughout his storied career, including his tenure in Congress. Gray represented Pennsylvania’s Second Congressional District.
"Bill Gray blazed a heroic path for national black political leadership a generation before Obama broke through as president," stated NAACP President & CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. "He went on to strengthen the UNCF at a critical moment for HCBUs. His visionary presence will be sorely missed."
"Bill Gray was a passionate advocate for social justice both here and abroad," stated Hilary O. Shelton, Sr. Vice President for Advocacy & Policy for the NAACP. Shelton and Gray worked together at the United Negro College Fund and collaborated on civil rights issues while Gray served in Congress. "His work to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and the end U.S. support for apartheid South Africa is an example of the depth and breadth of his successful congressional career, while his work to help support and grow America’s historically black colleges and universities was a clear demonstration of the passion he held for expanding opportunity for all Americans to enjoy the promises of our democracy. His legacy will continue to inspire generations of leaders."