Morning Headlines: R.I.P. Rev. William H. Gray III

Former Congressman and Philadelphia political legend Rev. William H. Gray III died yesterday in London at age 71, while visiting staying in that city for the Wimbledon tournament. The Inquirer quoted a number of Philadelphia luminaries who spoke about Gray and his passing:

Congressman Bob Brady: “He could walk down the hallway, and everybody knew him, he knew everyone. I’m absolutely positively shocked. It’s a major, major loss to the city, to the area and to the nation.”

Mayor Michael Nutter:  “[Gray was] a transformative leader among leaders.” “He knew guys on the corner, and he knew Nelson Mandela and everyone in between. In the chess match of politics, he knew how to get things done.”

Former City Councilman George Burrell: “If you look back over the last 50 years, there’s a handful of people that stood out as transformative leaders in Philadelphia, and Bill Gray is one of them.”

State Rep. Dwight Evans: “He was a trailblazer. He was a pioneer. I learned a lot from him about building relationships with rural legislators.”

Retired Inquirer reporter Acel Moore: “It’s a tightrope to be both a leader of a major spiritual community church and also to be a major political leader, probably the number one political leader, and I think he walked it well.”

Former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell: “He used both of those positions to help people, to make lives better, to create opportunity for people who had none, and to make sure that the most vulnerable citizens were protected.”

Fore more quotes and a history of Gray’s service and life, go to the Inquirer’s coverage here

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