Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor this afternoon to honor his friend, former House Majority Whip William Gray, who passed away earlier this month. Below are his remarks and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“I rise with a great deal of sadness, saddened by the passing of my friend, William H. Gray, who represented the people of Pennsylvania’s Second District in this House from 1979 to 1991.
“Bill Gray was an historic figure, I had the honor of serving as Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus when he chaired the Democratic Caucus. He made history as the first African-American Democratic Whip from  to 1991. As Budget Chairman, Bill Gray played an instrumental role in setting the stage for the balanced budget of the 1990's.
“He was a leading voice against apartheid. Some of us just participated in a birthday celebration for Nelson Mandela in Emancipation Hall. Bill Gray was a leading advocate of changing the apartheid system in South Africa. His efforts ... led to adoption of sanctions against South Africa.
“After retiring from Congress, Bill Gray led the United Negro College Fund, helping literally thousands access higher education and the opportunities that come with it.
“Throughout his tenure, Bill Gray continued to minister to the families of the Bright Hope Baptist Church as their pastor. His deep faith and enduring love for his fellow man was evident not only from the pulpit but in the committee rooms and on this Floor.
“I join my colleagues in expressing my condolences to Andrea and their sons, William, Justin, and Andrew, and thanking them. Thanking them for sharing Bill Gray with all of us and with our country. We were privileged to serve with him, to know him, and to be his friend.”