Topics: House of Representatives

Former US Rep. Ken Gray dies in southern Illinois

Congress,House of Representatives,Illinois,Earmarks,Obituaries

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — 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.

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