University of Texas
Truman Stretcher Gray
May 3, 1906–November 7, 1992



Truman Stretcher Gray

Truman Stretcher Gray was born May 3,1906 in Spencer, Indiana to Clarence Truman (1877–1951) and Bessie Stretcher Gray. He had a younger sister, Margaret E. Gray. Truman's father, Clarence Truman Gray, was a professor of philosophy of education at the University of Texas at Austin. His memorial statement is at the end of this article.

Truman S. married Isabella Gilliam Crockford in Petersburg, Virginia on June 20, 1931. Isabella was born September 17, 1905 in Virginia. In 1930, she was working as a secretary and living with her widowed mother and grandparents. In 1927, she was attending the New England Conservatory of Music, studying piano. !926–1927 was her junior year.

Truman died November 7, 1992 and is buried in Westview Cemetery, Lexington, Middlesex County, MA. Isabella died January 27, 1997

Below is a press release by MIT on the occasion of Truman’s death.

Truman S. Gray PhD 1930
MIT News Office
Memorial services will be held today for Professor Emeritus of Engineering Electronics Truman S. Gray PhD 1930, a pioneer in the field of electronic instrumentation, measurement and control, who died Saturday at Mt. Auburn Hospital. Gray had suffered a heart attack a few days earlier at his home in Lexington. He was 86.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. in the Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington. Burial will be in Lexington's Westview Cemetery.

Gray began his teaching career at MIT in 1927 as a research assistant in electrical engineering and became a vital force in what is now the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Gray was born in 1906, in Indiana, and grew up in Austin, Texas. He earned bachelors degrees in electrical engineering and physics at the University of Texas, where his father was a professor. At MIT, he received a master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1928 and a doctor of science degree in 1930. The late Vannevar Bush supervised his doctoral thesis. Gray joined the faculty in 1935.

Gray taught the premier departmental course in electronic instrumentation, and continued to do so even after his official retirement. He also headed the department's Graduate Office for many years and wrote Applied Electronics, which became an authoritative text in the field and was translated into Japanese and Spanish.

During a leave from MIT in 1947–1948, Gray took charge of designing and developing reactor instrumentation at the newly established Brookhaven National Laboratory. He also served as an expert witness in many legal cases.

Gray maintained a strong love for music, and he played the clarinet for many years with concert bands in Concord and Lexington. He especially enjoyed Dixieland, and in 1957 became a founding member of the Tabor Hill Dixieland Jazz Band. Just last week, he and fellow band member Stephen H. Crandall PhD 1946, also an emeritus professor at MIT, were discussing an upcoming engagement. He was also an accomplished amateur silversmith and glassblower.

Gray, a Lexington resident for 57 years, is survived by his wife, Isabel Crockford Gray, a sister, Margaret Shepherd of Texas, and two nieces.

An obituary appeared in the November 11, 1992, New York Times.
Truman S. Gray, 86, Electronics Professor
Published: November 11, 1992

Truman S. Gray, widely recognized for his ground-breaking work in electronics, died Saturday at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He was 86 years old and lived in Lexington, Mass. He died after a heart attack in his home a few days earlier, said Charles Ball, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Dr. Gray taught.

Dr. Gray was professor emeritus of engineering electronics at M.I.T. He is best known for the development in 1931 of the Photo-Electric Integraph, a calculating machine that solved complex mathematical problems in minutes by turning them into rays of light. Out of this work came his book "Applied Electronics," an authoritative text, published by M.I.T. Press in 1954.

n 1947–48, he designed and developed reactor instrumentation at the newly established Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.
He retired in 1971 but continued to teach his graduate level course on electronic instrumentation and control.

Born in Spencer, Indiana, he graduated from the University of Texas. He received a master of science degree in 1928 and a doctor of science degree in 1930, both from M.I.T.

He is survived by his wife, Isabel Crockford, and a sister, Margaret Shepherd of Austin, Texas.


Truman Gray is top row, third from right. Cactus Yearbook, 1924.


Truman Gray is top row, left end. Cactus Yearbook, 1926



Picture of Isabella Gillian Crockford Gray, wife of Truman Gray, at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1927. She was studying piano. She is in the middle row, second from the right.


































Clarence Truman Gray was born in Russell, Kansas, November 22, 1877, and died in Austin, Texas, May 20, 1951. His father, Bingham Gray, and mother, Evangeline Anderson Gray, had gone West a year earlier from their home in Indiana. They entered a homestead, but succeeding droughts forced them to abandon it, so they went back to Indiana and located on Bingham Gray's father's farm near Gosport.

Clarence, the eldest of four children, two boys and, two girls, was then seven years old. He attended a small one-room country school and later graduated from the Gosport High School. His great -grandfather, Daniel Anderson, was a Methodist circuit rider and established churches in the community, some of which are still active. He traveled on horseback.

Professor Gray was proud to possess the Bible dictionaries, copyrighted in 1813 and dated 1827, which his grandfather carried in his saddlebags on his journeys. Professor Gray's mother was very religious and was interested in an education, but received very little since her father objected to wasting that time and money on a girl. When her son showed an unusual interest in going ahead with his schooling, she encouraged him and made many sacrifices so that he might have that of which she had been deprived.

Clarence Gray began his teaching career in a one-room country school near his home and was rounding out his fifty years in the profession when he died. His early program was largely one of teaching in the winter and attending college in the summers. Later he was able to borrow money and spent a few winters at Indiana State Teachers' College at Terre Haute, where he graduated in 1902; and at The State University of Indiana where he majored in mathematics and received his AB degree in 1905. He did his graduate work in the University of Chicago, receiving his MA in 1911 and his PhD in 1916. His doctoral thesis, An Experimental Study of Reading Habits, was written under the direction of Professors C. H. Judd and W. F. Dearborn. In this connection he invented and built an ingenious apparatus for studying eye-movements in reading. Later he reproduced this in the laboratory of the University of Texas where it is still being used in experimental work.

Professor Gray was fundamentally a teacher and the classroom was his first love; but administration and research were the inevitable accompaniments of successful teaching. As Chairman of his Department from 1926 to 1948, he worked unceasingly for the good of all, seeking to promote the broader aspects of educational psychology as the newer branches developed. His vision was long, and his judgment was sound. His attitude was unbiased and tolerant. His counsel will be sorely missed by his colleagues, and his influence will be long lasting.

As a psychologist Professor Gray maintained the scientific attitude. His work was experimental and statistical in nature and was widely recognized. He became a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1916. His first book, Deficiencies in Reading Ability was published in 1922.This was followed a few years later by a set of readers for the elementary grades. Later he was co-author of a textbook in statistics for education and psychology. His research and writings were always precise and definite; his thinking was of the pattern of a scientist. He was as much interested in the discovery of new information as in its application to educational situations. His work in the field of reading earned him acceptance on a nation-wide basis.

During the latter years of his life, he was engaged in preparing a manuscript on the history of educational psychology. It is hopeful that his colleagues will complete this work. During the spring semester of 1947. Professor Gray served as Acting Dean of the College of Education. His choice for this distinction received the whole-hearted approval of his colleagues, who trusted his fairness and relied upon his judgment. In this position, he displayed the same patience, wisdom, and constructive leadership that had marked his service as department chairman.

One of Professor Gray's important contributions to the development of the School of Education here was his leadership in the establishment and promotion of Mu chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. He had been previously associated with the founding chapters at Indiana and Chicago universities, and was keenly interested in starting and maintaining Mu chapter on a high scholastic plane. To an unusual degree, he embodied in his own person the watchwords of the organization - leadership, research, and service.

The University of Texas owes much to Professor Gray for his many services to the General Faculty; in particular as chairman or member of many important administrative and policy–making committees. His advice in all of these connections was generally welcomed and heeded.

No resume of the career of Professor Gray would be complete without special mention of his hobbies. Professor Gray took unusual interest in handwork and in collecting glassware. At different times in his life, he devoted his spare moments to woodwork, to stonework, to weaving and to collecting unique specimens of glassware. He became interested in woodwork while principal of an Indiana high school, which had a department of manual training. The skills learned here were later on transferred to restoring old furniture.

Professor Gray also became skilled in weaving and working with limestone. As a result, numerous stone bird baths and benches came to grace his lawn and a variety of tablecloths napkins, and spreads to decorate his home. Professor Gray seemed equally interested in all of these leisure time activities, but his best-known activity was collecting glassware. In this, he took the same scholarly interest that characterized his professional career. He assembled a fine library and corresponded with eminent collectors of glassware. He gave numerous lectures on glassware before various clubs in Texas and a number outside of Texas as well.

Professor Gray was primarily interested in collecting glass specimens of striking color and design. His collection of 995 pieces represents almost every type of glassware and all parts of the world. Outstanding among his collection is a complete set of Westward Ho glassware. Each of the 36 pieces is embellished with unique designs of a deer, a buffalo, a log cabin, and an Indian. Outstanding also is his collection of Lacy Sandwich glass. The entire collection is a worthy monument to the zeal and scholarly efforts, which characterized his life.

As a teacher, Professor Gray's qualities were closely bound up with his kindly nature as neighbor and citizen. Those who knew him associated him with the home he built in simple colonial style on West Avenue. Here, he grew the native shrubs and flowers collected on his tours and fishing trips over Texas. And here, he and Mrs. Gray entertained successive generations of students and faculty on their extensive well-lighted lawns. With his interest in pioneer life in the West and the Colonial East he toured historical scenes watching with an expert's eye for objects of interest. This was no mere collector's craze, but was born of sympathetic knowledge of the arts by which folks of earlier times sought to enrich their lives and satisfy their love of beauty. The genial man of quiet humor thus extended his personality beyond neighborhood sociability to a patriotism and humanity deeply rooted in the understanding of people and their works of homely art.

The relation of a scholar to his colleagues in an institution of learning is an index of inner personality. As a professor and acting dean on several intervals, Professor Gray sustained the high dignity and grace, which should mark the scholarly mind. Courtesy, consideration and appreciation of his fellow faculty members and colleagues, in the department characterized his attitude at all times. He was neither obsequious nor condescending, neither pushing nor subservient. No undue ambition disrupted the department over which he presided. His conduct evoked the abiding respect and admiration of all who worked with and alongside him.

Fred C. Ayer, O. B. Douglas, Frederick Eby, E. T. Mitchell. B. F. Pittenger, Chairman

Filed with the Secretary of the General Faculty by Mr. B. F. Pittenger, Chairman of the Special Clarence Truman Gray Memorial Resolution Committee, October 19, 1951.

Clarence Truman Gray was the first of the “Chicago men” to be recruited by UT Education Dean William Seneca Sutton. Having just earned a new master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1911, this former Indiana school superintendent came to the University of Texas as an instructor. He continued his graduate work at Chicago during the summers and completed his PhD in 1916. William S. Gray (no relation) directed his dissertation research. At Chicago, and then later at Texas, his research centered on the psychology of reading. Gray assumed administrative direction of the Department of Educational Psychology on his founding in 1927. Through the 1940s, he and Herschel T. Manuel shared summer chairmanships of the department, one taking a reduced teaching load along with administrative duties one session in order to guarantee at least a single session not in the classroom.¹ From Exposing a Culture of Neglect: Herschel T. Manuel and Mexican American Schooling. by Matthew Davis.


Born in Russel, Kansas, Clarence Truman Gray (1877-1951) was the son of Bingham and Evangeline Gray. Raised near Gosport, Indiana, Clarence T. Gray graduated with an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Indiana University in 1905, and went on to earn a master’s in 1911 and a PhD in 1916 from the University of Chicago. After completing his dissertation on reading habits, Gray became a faculty member in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. In conjunction with his dissertation, Gray had also invented an instrument to track eye movements during reading sessions which he further developed at the University of Texas. From 1926 to 1948, Gray served as the chair of his department and as acting Dean of the College of Education in 1947. A prolific writer, Gray was the author of many publications on educational psychology, including Types of Reading Ability (1917) and Deficiencies in Reading Ability (1922).