We are deeply saddened by the passing of Boyden Gray. He was a wonderful man, witty, humble, and incredibly generous. He was an advisor to presidents, an Ambassador, and a leader inside the government and outside. Most of all, he was a patriot.
When asked to join our Board of Directors, Boyden responded, “yes, I think this is something I ought to do.” That response was typical of Boyden’s very strong sense of duty. We are especially grateful for his long service on our Board and for his many other contributions to the Federalist Society. More than that, we are grateful for his dedication to doing what was right and in the service of the nation, even if adverse to his own interests.
Boyden was relentlessly committed to the law and spent a lifetime working to support the principles he believed in. When he was attacked for following those principles, it often became grist for one of his hilarious dinner stories.
Boyden was a brilliant, imaginative, and original thinker. But he was also a man of exceptional judgment—of ideas, of people, and of what was called for at any given moment. The combination was wonderful and formidable. Occasionally his imagination ran away with him. But far more often, he saw problems—and solutions—that would only become visible to others years later.
Finally, Boyden was a gentleman, both in the ordinary meaning—he was a fundamentally gentle person—and according to many of the classic definitions. He was the person who, at a party, goes to the person whom others are treating as unimportant and makes that person feel at home. This is a particularly unusual way to behave in Washington. But Boyden did it routinely. And it is true according to Teddy Roosevelt’s famous line, that a gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out of it. Boyden did that as a matter of course. He was a truly good man and his death leaves the world a poorer place.
We send our deepest condolences to his beloved daughter Eliza.