C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel to former President George H.W. Bush and ambassador to the European Union, has died. He was 80.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ambassador C. Boyden Gray. From 1981-1993, Mr. Gray served President Bush as his closest and most trusted senior legal advisor,” the George and Barbara Bush Foundation said in a statement. “Boyden Gray was a dedicated public servant and a devoted and loyal friend.”
Gray served under the elder Bush for 12 years, according to his law and strategy firm Boyden Gray & Associates, starting as the then-vice president’s counsel for all eight years of the Reagan administration. He went on to serve as White House counsel for all four years of the first Bush Administration.
Some his accomplishments in that time, according to the firm, include “drafting the Executive Order requiring White House review and cost-benefit analysis of regulations, steering the landmark Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act, and overseeing the judicial selection process.”
His firm said in a statement this weekend, “We will honor his legacy by carrying on his fight for the foundational principles of American freedom. Thank you for the outpouring of support and prayers during this difficult time.”
Gray served in his role as ambassador under George W. Bush from 2006 to 2007 and as US Special Envoy to Europe for Eurasian Energy from 2008 to 2009. He received the Presidential Citizens Medal.
Born in 1943 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Gray graduated from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Law School. He served in the US Marine Corps Reserves, and after law school, as a clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, according to his firm.
He founded the eponymous Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School and served as an adjunct professor at the New York University Law School.
Gray has also served on the boards of the conservative legal organization The Federalist Society, conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks, and the libertarian think tank Reason Foundation, among other organizations.