Common Sense for Drug Policy's Chairman, Mike Gray, has passed away. The board and staff extend their deepest sympathies to his family. The movement has lost a leader, and we have lost a very good friend.
The following obituary is from Mike's website, http://www.mike-gray.org.
Like several other Hollywood realists, Mike Gray came from a documentary film background. His Chicago-Based Film Group chronicled the political violence of the 1960's, including the award-winning feature documentaries, AMERICAN REVOLUTION II, and THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON.
Gray grew up in the small farm town of Darlington, Indiana, and after graduating from Purdue University with an engineering degree in 1958, he worked in New York as an editor for AVIATION AGE.
In 1965 he joined with Jim Dennett to form The Film Group, a Chicago based production company. Their work in TV commercials provided the foundation for a series of theatrical and television documentaries. The two men worked together on more than fifty film and television projects over the last two decades.
After moving to Hollywood in 1973, Gray began writing the screenplay that was to become the eerily prophetic CHINA SYNDROME. His years of research were confirmed less than two weeks after the movie's release by the accident at Three Mile Island.
Gray went to Harrisburg to cover the TMI story for Rolling Stone magazine and collaborated on THE WARNING, (W.W. Norton) a definitive account of the accident based on 200 hours of interviews and 50,000 pages of transcripts from 5 government inquiries.
In 1981 Gray wrote and directed the theatrical feature, WAVELENGTH, a science fiction thriller starring Bobby Carradine and Keenan Wynn (New World).
Gray's second book, ANGLE OF ATTACK: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon, (W.W. Norton) was purchased by Tom Hanks for the TV series, From the Earth to the Moon.
After six years of research and writing, Gray's seminal book, DRUG CRAZY: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out (Random House, '98) had a major impact on the drug war debate. The paperback was released in the spring of 2000.
Gray's book, "Busted: Stone Cowboys, Narco-Lords, and Washington's War on Drugs" was published by Nation Books in 2002, and his book "The Death Game: Capital Punishment and the Luck of the Draw," was released by Common Courage Press in 2003.
With James Hirsch, he completed two screenplays based on the books, Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon, and Accident at Three Mile Island.
Mike Gray lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Carol, a reporter for public radio. Their son, Lucas, is an animator for The Simpsons.