Charles M. Gray

Deceased: April 22, 2011

Service Information:

Service: Monday, May 2, 2011 4pm at The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel 1156 E. 59th St. Chicago


Charles M. Gray age 82 died Friday April 22, 2011.
Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.
He is survived by his wife Hanna, nee Holborn.
Service is to be held Monday May 2, 2011 4:00pm
at The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel 1156 E. 59th St.
Chicago IL, 60637. for information 773-472-6300 or


May 27, 2011

Charles Gray, legal history scholar, 1928-2011
Charles Montgomery Gray, a leading scholar of legal history and a Professor Emeritus at University of Chicago, died Friday, April 22, at the University's Bernard Mitchell Hospital. He was 82.
He was the author of the books, Copyhold, Equity, and the Common Law; History of the Common Law, Hugh Latimer and the Sixteenth Century, and Renaissance and Reformation England. He had also written numerous articles about legal history and Volumes I, II, II and IV of Jurisdiction in Early Modern English Law.
He was the husband of Hanna H. Gray, President Emeritus of the University, who is Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor in History Emeritus at the University.
Charles Gray was named Professor in History in 1978 after serving on the faculty at Yale from 1974 to 1978 and previously at Chicago from 1960 to 1972. He also served as Master of the New Collegiate Division and Associate Dean of the College. He was a Guggenheim Fellow from 1965 to 1966, and he also held both an ACLS fellowship and a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He and Mrs. Gray served as co-editors of The Journal of Modern History for five years.
In addition to being a distinguished researched, he was also and outstanding teacher. In 1992, he received the University's top aware for undergraduate teaching, the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award.
He taught courses in Western civilization, medieval and early modern English history, and the history of English and European law, jurisprudence and political theory. He also taught courses in Fundamentals: Issues and Tests, a program in the College devoted to examination of major Western and non-Western texts.
“I enjoy the process of teaching,” Gray said in an interview with the University of Chicago Chronicle, a faculty newspaper. “In teaching, you are forced to think about how you're going to explain something to your students. You have to make something comprehensible to yourself and then explain it to them.
I feel satisfied in teaching when the students and I have looked at a text, come as close to it as we can, and discussed it exhaustively,” he added.
Students who recommend Gray for the honor, spoke of his joy in teaching as well as his abilities to explain the issues involved in their classes.
“He definitely glow from his eternal enjoyment of teaching, and in turn, this inspires his students to learn. I never leave his classes without serious reflection on my own ideas and the ideas that are greater than myself,” one of the students wrote.
Gray was born on Nov. 23, 1928, in Champaign, Ill. He received a B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard in 1949, was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, and received his Ph.D. From Harvard in 1956. He was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1956 to 1960.
Charles and Hanna Holborn Gray were married in 1954. They met in a seminar while in graduate school at Harvard. Mrs. Gray joined the faculty at Chicago in 1961.