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Former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Philadelphia minister William Herbert Gray III is dead, according to a family spokesperson.

The spokesperson said Gray was attending the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London on Monday when he suddenly died. He was 71 years old. The spokesman said he had not been ill and that it appears he died from natural causes.

Born in Baton Rouge, La., Gray graduated from Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia back in 1959. In 1972, he became the senior minister at Bright Hope Baptist Church, also in Philly.

Church leaders from Bright Hope Baptist learned of Gray’s death during an emergency meeting.

“We’re talking about someone who not only became majority whip but was the Barack Obama of his day.” said Reverand Kevin Johnson of Bright Hope Baptist.

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