AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Remembering Former Hill+Knowlton Chairman/CEO Bob Gray

Nixon_view

Over the weekend we learned of the passing of Bob Gray: Nebraska-born author, lobbyist, presidential adviser, founder of Gray and Co. and onetime CEO/chairman of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. He was 92.

While Gray began his career in politics before joining H+K, he is best known as “first flack” for President Ronald Reagan. Gray worked on Reagan’s campaign, co-chaired his inaugural committee and went on to become the prototypical lobbyist.

Gray joined H+K to run the firm’s D.C. office in 1961 after working as an aide to Dwight Eisenhower, and while current CEO Jack Martin describes him as “a moderate Republican” in a remembrance, Gray was not a partisan when it came to hiring and building business partnerships–and he played an outsized role in turning H+K into the firm it is today.

RKG-Swearing-In_view

A quote attributed to Gray by strategic counselor Frank Mankiewicz reads:

“…if you hire good, competent people, the clients will follow. That’s how we’re going to build our business.”

While some journalists and political observers questioned the ethics of Gray’s influence, a Washington Post reporter once described him as:

“…a kind of legend in this town…the man in the black tuxedo with snow-white hair and a smile like a diamond.”

Gray worked with five presidents; these images come via H+K and his “Presidential Gallery.

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!