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William H. Gray III dies at 71; influential Philadelphia politician
William H. Gray III dies at 71; influential Philadelphia politician

William H. Gray III, a Baptist minister and Democrat from Philadelphia who during six terms in Congress became the first black party whip — the No. 3 leadership post — and first black chairman of the House Budget Committee, has died. He was 71. 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 Philadelphia since 1972, he was elected in 1978 to represent Pennsylvania's 2nd Congressional District, which covers areas in and around Philadelphia. During his 12 years in the House, he pressed for economic sanctions...

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