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Robert Keith Gray

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Robert Keith Gray

Robert Keith Gray (born September 2, 1923)[1] in Hastings, Nebraska was a Republican activist and public relations executive who founded Gray and Company in 1981 after working with Hill & Knowlton.


In government service

In 1955, Gray was appointed Special Assistant for Manpower for the United States Department of the Navy, the following year, Gray served as Appointments Secretary to President Dwight Eisenhower and later as Secretary of his cabinet.

Private sector

In the 1960s and 1970s, he served as Washington operative for Hill & Knowlton. In those years, according to a case study by the Harvard Business School, H&K's clients produced nearly 10% of the GNP.

In 1967, Gray joined the 50-person committee responsible for charting Richard Nixon's path to the White House.  

After serving as deputy director of the Reagan-Bush presidential campaign, in 1980,  Gray became Reagan's first appointment as president when Gray was named co-chairman of Ronald Reagan’s Presidential inauguration.[2]

Gray started his own firm, Gray and Company, in 1981. When he took the firm public in 1985, it became the first public relations-public affairs firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  Three years later, he sold majority interest in the firm to Hill & Knowlton and became H&K's Worldwide Chairman.[3]

In 1988, as one of his last acts as president, Reagan flew to Gray's hometown, Hastings, Nebraska, to dedicate a communications center Gray had given to Hastings College in honor of his parents.

Gray’s book, 18 Acres Under Glass, was published by Doubleday in the States and by MacMillan oversees. Becoming number-four on The Times best-seller list, the book highlighted the demands on both his political and social life as the Secretary of the Cabinet under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. With tales of the visits with kings and queens, to the extended hours spent with the Chief Executive, the book gives an inner look at the functions and sometimes dysfunctions of Washington.   Gray has been featured in cover stories in Time Magazine [4] and U.S. News and World Report, named Marketer of the year by AdWeek Magazine, and was the subject of a fifteen-minute Monitor program on NBC. He has received Italy's highest civilian decoration, Grande Ufficiale.

In the 1992 book, The Power House by Susan B. Trento, "tells how Mr. Gray, after unabashedly peddling access for decades, reached the apex of his influence when his friend Ronald Reagan moved into the White House." [5] This book led to a defamation lawsuit by Gray against Trento and St. Martin's Press, in which Gray's claims were dismissed.[6]

Gray graduated in 1943 from Carleton College and holds an MBA from Harvard University, four honorary doctorates (from Creighton University, Barry University, Marymount University and Hastings College.) His current company is GrayandCo2, where he serves as a consultant to international companies and on corporate boards.

Gray is chairman for the Keating Network LLC, an organization dedicated to helping small and medium sized businesses grow and prosper.[7]


External links

  • Hon. Robert Keith Gray's official website with blog
  • Archive)


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