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C. Boyden Gray, Lawyer for the Republican Establishment, Dies at 80 – UnlistedNews

C. Boyden Gray, Lawyer for the Republican Establishment, Passes Away at Age 80

C. Boyden Gray, a prominent Washington lawyer who served as White House counsel under George H.W. Bush and later became a leading influence in the Republican Party, passed away on Saturday at the age of 80. Gray’s death was announced by the law firm he co-founded, GrayKessler LLP, which did not specify the cause of death.

Gray was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1943 and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned both undergraduate and law degrees. After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and later served as an assistant to Attorney General Griffin Bell during the Carter administration.

In 1981, Gray was recruited to work in the Reagan White House, where he served as legal counsel to Vice President Bush before becoming White House counsel in 1985. During his tenure in the administration, Gray played a key role in shaping policy on issues such as civil rights, environmental regulation, and executive privilege.

After leaving the White House in 1989, Gray went on to become one of the most influential Republican lawyers in the country. He founded the law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering’s regulatory and government affairs group and served as chairman of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization. He also advised numerous Republican politicians and advocacy groups, including a coalition of business groups that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate before the Supreme Court in 2012.

Gray remained active in conservative politics and policy circles up until his death. He served as a senior adviser to the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks and was involved in the effort to convince then-candidate Donald Trump to adopt conservative positions on regulatory reform during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Gray is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three children. His death was mourned by many prominent Republicans, including former President George H.W. Bush and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called him “one of the smartest and most respected legal minds in Washington.”


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