As I type this, Nellie Gray's funeral Mass--a Traditional Latin Requiem--is taking place in Washington D.C. In light of this, I thought I'd post some interesting tidbits I found on her life and those she impacted.
Did you know?
- There appears to be some uncertainty--or at least inconsistency within media reports--regarding her date of birth and, hence, the age at which she died. This tribute from TFP states she was 88, which would make her born in 1924. However, this article, written on the day of the March in 2010 and titled "At 84, Pro-life Leader Nellie Gray Marches On," would put her birthday in 1926 and her age at 86, an age explicitly stated by this news article. Even the highly-credible LifeSiteNews article went out of its way to avoid mentioning her age directly. Accordingly, her page on the equally uncredible Wikipedia had, until just recently a "c.1924" for her birth date. It now says, she was born on June 24, 1924 and died at age 88, referencing a blog post by Jill Stanek.
- Nellie served in Europe as a member of the Women's Army Corps. Afterwards, she obtained a degree in Law from Georgetown University, before deciding to found the March for Life after the nationwide legalization of abortion in 1973.
- Nellie, with her unmistakable voice, has served as MC for the pre-March rally on the National Mall every year without exception since the first March. Who can replace her irreplaceable presence?
- Nellie coined the phrase "No exceptions, no compromise" to express her 100% pro-life convictions. Would that all of our avowedly pro-life politicians, following her example, have the courage to do the same!
- Fr. Frank Pavone, founder and national director of Priests for Life, credits Nellie Gray and the 1976 March for Life, which he had attended with his mother, with inspiring he vocation to the priesthood.
- Even some secular news stations--including this notorious one--have reported on her death and legacy.