Herb Gray

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Herb Gray portrait

The Right Honourable Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray PC, CC (born May 25, 1931, Windsor, Ontario) was a Canadian politician. He was Canada's first Jewish cabinet minister, and is one of only a few Canadians ever granted the title Right Honourable who was not so entitled by virtue of a position held.

Prior to entering elected politics, Gray pursued studies in Commerce at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and in Law at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, Ontario. He was first elected to Parliament for the riding of Essex West on June 18, 1962, as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was re-elected in twelve subsequent federal elections, making him the longest continuously-serving Member of Parliament in Canadian history.

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Herb Gray with other parliamentary colleagues on Parliament Hill

Gray served in a variety of roles during his parliamentary career, including cabinet ministries and committee chairmanships during the Liberal governments of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, and as Opposition House Leader from 1984 to 1990.

From February 6, 1990 to December 21, 1990, he was Leader of the Opposition, between the resignation of John Turner as Liberal leader and the election to Parliament of his successor, Jean Chrétien.

When the Liberals returned to power in 1993, Gray was appointed Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada. On June 11, 1997, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

Gray retired from Parliament on January 14, 2002, and was appointed Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission, a bilateral organization which deals with Canada-United States transboundary issues on water and air rights. On January 15, 2002 the Governor General of Canada granted Gray the title "Right Honourable", in honour of his distinguished and record-setting contribution to Canadian political life.

Gray is the Commissioner of the International Joint Commission.

On July 23, 1967, Gray married lawyer Sharon Sholzberg, with whom he has two children.

Gray is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, a designation which can be bestowed on only 165 outstanding Canadians at any given time.

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26th Ministry - Government of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (2)
Preceded by:
Sheila Copps
Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
Succeeded by:
John Manley
Preceded by:
Doug Lewis
Solicitor General of Canada
Succeeded by:
Andy Scott
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Minister responsible for the Millennium Bureau of Canada
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Preceded by:
Doug Lewis
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Succeeded by:
Don Boudria
23rd Ministry - Government of John Napier Turner
Cabinet Posts (1)
Preceded by:
cont'd from 22nd Min.
President of the Treasury Board
Succeeded by:
Robert de Cotret
22nd Ministry - Second Government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Cabinet Posts (3)
Preceded by:
Don Johnston
President of the Treasury Board
Succeeded by:
cont'd into 23rd Min.
Preceded by:
Pierre de Bané
Minister of Regional Economic Expansion
Succeeded by:
Ed Lumley
Preceded by:
Robert de Cotret
Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce
Succeeded by:
Ed Lumley
20th Ministry - First Government of Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Cabinet Posts (3)
Preceded by:
Robert Andras
Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs
Succeeded by:
André Ouellet
Preceded by:
Jean-Pierre Côté
Minister of National Revenue
Succeeded by:
Robert Stanbury
Minister without Portfolio

Preceded by:
John Turner
Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons
Succeeded by:
Jean Chrétien
Preceded by:
Norman Spencer, PC
Member of Parliament for Essex West
Succeeded by:
riding abolished in 1966
Preceded by:
first member, riding created in 1966
Member of Parliament for Windsor West
Succeeded by:
Brian Masse, New Democrat

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