Former US Rep. Ken Gray dies in southern Illinois
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.