TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Remembering Former Hill+Knowlton Chairman/CEO Bob Gray


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.


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

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!