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Ray, Gordon Norton (08 September 1915–15 December 1986), educator, foundation executive, and book collector, was born in New York City, the only child of Jesse Gordon Ray, who was then the New York representative of an Indiana limestone company, and Jessie Norton. His father’s business soon took the family to Chicago, where Ray spent his childhood. In 1932, when Ray graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, his parents moved to Bloomington, Indiana (having started their own limestone company there in 1927 on land owned by his mother’s family), and he enrolled in Indiana University. His studies there brought him membership in three honorary societies and both A.B. and A.M. degrees in French literature in 1936. Moving to Harvard University for graduate school, he took another A.M. (1938) and then completed a Ph.D. dissertation, “Thackeray and France,” in 1940. During the course of this work, he became famous among graduate students throughout the country when he was selected as editor of William Makepeace Thackeray’s letters by the Thackeray heirs. During the next two and a half years (while teaching at Harvard in 1940–1941 and holding two Guggenheim Fellowships from July 1941 through November 1942), he completed his editing of the letters—just before he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy on 1 December 1942. His forty months of naval service (to 23 March 1946), in which he attained the rank of lieutenant and earned seven battle stars and a presidential unit citation, included two and a half years as radar officer in the Pacific aboard the aircraft carriers ...