Former Rep. Ken Gray dies

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — Former Rep. Ken Gray, who represented southern Illinois in Congress, has died at age 89.

Officials with Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort say Gray died late Saturday at a hospital in Herrin after a long illness.

Gray was elected to Congress in 1954 and served 10 terms before returning in 1984 for two more terms.

The Democrat was a colorful figure during his time in Washington who was known as the “Prince of Pork” for bringing about $7 billion in federal projects to his district. Those projects included a prison, an interstate highway, post offices and hospitals.

In 2008 a portion of Interstate 57 in southern Illinois was named after Gray, who helped write the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.

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