Islamicist and head of the Oriental department, British Museum, 1945-1969. Gray was the son of Charles Gray, a surgeon in the (British) Royal Army Medical Corps, and Florence Elworthy Cowell. After attending Bradfield College he entered New College, Oxford University, graduating in 1927. The following year he worked at the British Academy excavations of the great palace of the Byzantine emperors in Constantinople. He attempted study in Vienna under the singular Vienna-school scholar Josef Rudolf Thomas Strzygowski.