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9/24/96

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558


Professor Emeritus Roger Gray dies

STANFORD -- Roger W. Gray, a specialist in the analysis of organized agricultural futures markets, died Sept. 5 in Monterey, at age 75. He had suffered a stroke in June.

A tribute will be held for Gray at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Bowman Alumni Grove, with a reception to follow at the Faculty Club.

Gray was the Holbrook Working Professor Emeritus of Commodity Price Studies within the Food Research Institute. He had raised the funds hiimself among grain traders to endow the chair in honor of his predecessor, Holbrook Working.

Gray received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Colorado, and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1954, he taught at both of those schools, was a research assistant at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was an assistant economist with the Bank of America.

Gray was the author of more than 50 professional articles related to futures markets. His research, for which he was twice honored by the American Association of Agricultural Economists, included a study of the role of speculators and hedgers in futures markets, and of whether there is a necessary transfer of a risk premium to speculators. More recently he had studied world food problems, particularly as they relate to trade issues and the appropriate means of dealing with food reserves.

Gray was a consultant for such policy and regulatory bodies as the Chicago Board of Trade, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as an expert witness in a number of famous manipulation and tax cases. He was the first to study the feasibility of a futures market in mortgage-backed instruments, the success of which in the 1970s inaugurated the huge growth of the financial futures markets. After his retirement in 1984, he maintained an active schedule as a consultant in the commodities market.

At Stanford, Gray had been a member of the Faculty Senate and president of the Faculty Club. He also had served as resident fellow in a freshman dormitory.

Gray is survived by his wife, Jean; son John R. Gray of Albuquerque, N.M.; daughters Nancy Hagemann of Palo Alto and Linda Van Gorden of Morgan Hill; an extended family of three step-children; and 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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