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Lincoln & RayRecently, I shared with my dad an article I wrote on the Manager of the Year Award for Subway Restaurants of Arizona (an HMA client) that was published in the White Mountain Independent. Upon sharing, he led me to discover something very neat - I am the third Ray in our family to have an article published in a newspaper! While I always knew there were writers in the family, I decided to learn more about my family’s history. I thought some of it was worth sharing.

My great-great-great-grandfather, Dr. Charles H. Ray, purchased the Chicago Tribune with Joseph Medill after the publication’s founding. After the purchase, Ray worked as editor-in-chief and Medill worked as managing editor. Both assisted Abraham Lincoln nab the presidential nomination during the campaign season. In fact, before Lincoln was nominated, he requested their help to edit a speech he was working on, which you may know as the Cooper Union Address. A painting of the three working together on the speech was published in the Chicago Tribune (as pictured). Lincoln is sitting on the left, Medill is standing up and Grandpa Charles is sitting to the right.

Dr. Charles H. Ray as shown on the top right, “Dr. Charles Ray, who joined Joseph Medill in the purchase of the Tribune in 1855” Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1NlO4Qs

Dr. Charles H. Ray as shown on the top right, “Dr. Charles Ray, who joined Joseph Medill in the purchase of the Tribune in 1855” Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1NlO4Qs

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed much of the papers of that time, but fortunately for our family, some of Grandpa Charles’ articles and letters survived and the family donated them to The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.

Moving closer to present day, my late-grandfather, Eugene Ray, was a reporter for various papers, but most notably for the New Hampshire Union Leader, formerly known as the Manchester Union Leader. He did a lot of reporting on the Pease Air Force Base and even interviewed former President Dwight D. Eisenhower (as pictured). Grandpa Eugene is standing center in the photo with Eisenhower to the right.

The history of Ray writers does not end there. My dad, Warren Ray, independently published two suspense-thrillers, The Shadow Patriots and New Recruits. He is currently working on the third book to

Dr. Charles H. Ray as shown on the top right, “Dr. Charles Ray, who joined Joseph Medill in the purchase of the Tribune in 1855” Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1NlO4Qs

Eugene Ray (center) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (right)

the series. This is the first time he used his inherited creativity to be read rather than seen or heard. Prior to starting his book series, he expressed this creative side through art and standup comedy. He is definitely much cooler than I will ever be!

Now for me, I am still in the early chapters, so to speak, of my life story. But, my passion for writing seems to be right in line with many of my relatives. Who knows, maybe I will be the third Ray to sit in with a president!

It can be very special learning about your family’s heritage, especially when you see connections such as these. Have you discovered anything fascinating while learning about your family’s history?

 

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

2 Comments

  1. Steve ray says:

    Cool Shelby. I am in Barcelona reading this and am so proud of my niece. I hope this gets back to you I am not as cool or tech savvy as your dad but I’m trying. Ttyl love uncle steve

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