Former Congressman Ken Gray Dies In Southern Illinois
Former U.S. Rep. Ken Gray, who represented southern Illinois in Congress and earned the nickname the "Prince of Pork,'' has died at age 89.
Officials with Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort said Sunday that Gray died late Saturday at a hospital in Herrin after a long illness.
Gray was elected to Congress in 1954 and served ten terms. He returned to Congress in 1984 to serve two terms.
Gray was a colorful figure during his time in Washington and the Democrat was known for bringing about $7 billion in federal projects to his district.
Those projects included a prison, an interstate highway, post offices and hospitals.
In 2008 a portion of Interstate 57 in southern Illinois was named after Gray, who helped write the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.
Gov. Quinn says "a grateful state fondly remembers what the congressman did for Illinois.'' He says in a statement that Gray "never tired of advocating for his beloved state and region.''