Recently, 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.
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 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?