Mayor Michael Nutter hailed him as “a transformative leader among leaders” and ordered flags at all city buildings to fly at half-staff beginning Tuesday.
“He knew guys on the corner, and he knew Nelson Mandela and everyone in between,” Nutter said in a statement. “He created a political organization that for decades has continued to be one of the most powerful, productive and progressive forces in the social and political life of our city’s history.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) called Gray “a tireless advocate for the people of Philadelphia and a trailblazer for a new generation of African American elected officials.”
U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) credited Gray with helping to develop housing for low- and middle-income residents through the nonprofit Union Housing Corp. and with providing federal resources for renovations that have made the city’s Amtrak station “one of the best, most efficiently run train facilities in the nation.”
“And finally, Bill Gray was my friend — he was the very embodiment of how to turn the power and platform of the House of Representatives for true public service,” Fattah said.