Gordon Gray

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Gordon Gray, Sr., then serving as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, was appointed on January 16, 1960, by Dwight D. Eisenhower as the first director of the Operations Coordinating Board:[1]

"I hereby designate you Chairman of the Operations Coordinating Board, vice Mr. Robert D. Murphy, to perform duties in accordance with Executive Order 10700 dated February 25, 1957, as mended, in addition to your other duties. I know that you are thoroughly familiar with the work of the OCB through your service as a member of the Board since July 1958. In view of your continuing responsibility as the principal supervisory officer of the work of the National Security Council in formulating national security policies including those assigned by me to the OCB for coordination, you are in a position to provide impartial and objective guidance and leadership to the Board.
"This new assignment is one step which I feel should be taken toward enabling the President to look to one office for staff assistance in the whole range of national security affairs."


Several distinguished professorships in the University were created by Bowman Gray, Jr., president and chairman of the board of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem. Later his brother, Gordon Gray, Sr., added to the fund, and the professorships were renamed for the two men. Previously, the brothers and their mother, Nathalie Lyons Gray, had given UNC-CH the Bowman Gray Swimming Pool in honor of their father, Bowman Gray, Sr., Class of 1894.

Bowman Gray, Jr. graduated with a B.A. in 1929 and was president of his class. Gordon Gray was a member of the Class of 1930. He served as president of UNC from 1950 to 1955.

Born in Baltimore, Md., in 1907, Bowman Gray, Jr. lived in Winston-Salem with his family. He was married to the former Elizabeth Christian of Richmond, Va., and they had five sons: Bowman Gray III (B.A. '64), F. Christian Gray, Robert Gray (B.A. '64), Lyons Gray (B.A. '67) and P. Randolph Gray (B.A. '73).

Like his father and his uncle, Bowman Gray, Jr. became the head of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He was a strong financial supporter of education and local businesses, serving as a trustee of the University of North Carolina, the Research Triangle Foundation and the Business Foundation of North Carolina. He also served as a member of the boards of Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. and Piedmont Airlines. He was also a director of the General Alumni Association and a member of the University's Athletic Council.

Gordon Gray, Sr. was born in 1909, also in Baltimore. He was married in 1938 to the former Jane Boyden Craige, and they had four sons: Gordon Gray, Jr., Burton Gray, C. Boyden Gray (J.D. '68) and Bernard Gray (B.A. '72). After Jane's death, Gray married the former Nancy Maguire Beebe.

In addition to serving as president of the University system, Gordon Gray was chairman of the board of Piedmont Publishing Co.; publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel; chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and Secretary of the Army. A lawyer, Gray's service to the federal government began with his appointment as President Harry S. Truman's assistant secretary of the war in 1947; two years later, he was appointed to secretary of the Army. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him his national security adviser in 1958. He served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. The University presented Gray with an honorary law degree in 1949.

His son C. Boyden Gray also has had a career of public service in Washington, clerking for Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and serving as President George Herbert Walker Bush's White House counsel.

Bowman Gray Jr. died in 1969. Gordon Gray Sr. died in 1982.

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