February 05, 2010

Institute to host book signing, reception for Gray

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A book signing later this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will honor the accomplishments of former U.S. Rep. Kenneth J. Gray, one of Southern Illinois’ best-known politicians.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is hosting the book signing and reception from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 16. The life of the West Frankfort Democrat is documented in the book, “Pass the Plate: The Legend & Legacy of United States Congressman Kenneth J. Gray,” by authors Maxine Pyle and Marleis Trover.

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Gray, along with Pyle and Trover, will make brief remarks at the event. The book costs $29.95, plus tax.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the book signing. For more information contact Matt Baughman, associate institute director, at 618/453-4001.

Gray, now 85, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly a quarter century. He served from 1955 to 1974, and also from 1985 to 1989. Gray also owned an automobile dealership and an air service, served in World War II, and was a licensed auctioneer.

Gray, along with Pyle and Trover, will make brief remarks at the event. The book costs $29.95, plus tax.

“Congressman Gray is an Illinois institution,” said David Yepsen, institute director. “The stories about him are legend and we’re excited to have him stop by to sign the book about him. They just don’t make politicians as colorful as him anymore and this is also a good chance for people to stop by and meet the man. The book is nicely done and richly illustrated. It will be of interest to anyone interested in Southern Illinois politics and history.”

In addition to the book signing, kiosk displays from the Sen. Paul Simon papers and archives are in the public policy institute’s lobby during February.

The book is also available at The Bookworm, 618 E. Walnut St., in the Eastgate Shopping Center, and Barnes and Noble, 1300 E. Main St., both in Carbondale. Books are also available by mailing $35 to Maxine Pyle at Educational Design and Innovations, 15355 Meadows Lane, Johnston City, 62995.