William H. Gray III, a Baptist minister and Democrat from Philadelphia who during six terms in
He died unexpectedly Monday while in London with one of his sons to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament, according to family spokesman William Epstein.
A third-generation pastor of Bright Hope Baptist Church in
Gray's rise to Democratic whip brought talk of his becoming the first black House speaker and perhaps seeking the presidency. Then, at the peak of his power, he resigned in 1991 to become president of the
"My concept of power is different from other people's," he said in a 1991 interview with the
Gray was chairman emeritus of Gray Global Advisors, a Washington-based consulting firm, and served on the boards of Dell, Pfizer and
William Herbert Gray III was born on Aug. 20, 1941, in Baton Rouge, La., and attended high school in Philadelphia.
He received a bachelor's degree in 1963 from
Gray is survived by his wife, the former Andrea Dash; their three sons, William IV, Justin and Andrew; and his mother.