Family of former congressman discuss his legacy

Family of former congressman discuss his legacy
Gray's "famous pink coat." (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
Gray's "famous pink coat." (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
Kenneth Gray in 1954. (Source: Gray Family)
Kenneth Gray in 1954. (Source: Gray Family)

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Former U.S. Congressman for the 25th district, Kenneth James Gray, died on Saturday July 12 at Herrin Hospital.

"My name is Kenneth Gray. I live at West Frankfort, Illinois," said the late Gray in his first television appearance in 1954.  "I've campaigned hard and long to be elected to congress from Southern Illinois, because I a sincere desire to do something for the welfare of the people of the 25th district."

Gray was born in West Frankfort, Illinois on November 14, 1924.

He spent nearly a quarter century as a U.S. Representative. He was also famous for his bold style, boasting a "famous pink coat," according to his wife Toedy Gray.

Gray was also known for his unique style of politics that brought more than $7 billion dollars worth of projects to his district in southern Illinois.

A museum with pieces from Gray's personal collection sits in the Marion Mall. The museum has photos, letters, and many items that chronicle more than 200 years of American history including Gray's days as a congressman.

Gray leaves behind a wife, two daughters and 12 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements have been set. The public is invited by the Gray family to celebrate the life of Kenneth James Gray on Saturday, July

19.

The visitation begins at 10 a.m. The funeral service begins at 4 p.m.

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