GRAY, Kenneth James, (1924 - 2014)


Campaign button, c. 1972, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

GRAY, Kenneth James, a Representative from Illinois; born in West Frankfort, Franklin County, Ill., November 14, 1924; attended the West Frankfort and Pope County elementary schools and graduated from West Frankfort Community High School; owner of Gray Motors, West Frankfort, Ill., 1942-1954; also operated an air service at Benton, Ill., 1948 to 1952; licensed pilot; during the Second World War served from January 1943 as a crew chief with the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa; served with the combat engineers of the Fifth Army in Italy; returned to the Twelfth Air Force and participated in combat over southern France and central Europe until discharged as a first sergeant in December 1945; one of the founders of the Walking Dog Foundation for the Blind; licensed auctioneer; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fourth and to the nine succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1955, until his resignation December 31, 1974; was not a candidate for reelection in 1974 to the Ninety-fourth Congress; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-ninth and One Hundredth Congresses (January 3, 1985-January 3, 1989); was not a candidate for renomination in 1988 to the One Hundred First Congress; died on July 12, 2014, in Herrin, Ill.