TUPELO — Lloyd Gray, executive editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal for 23 years, is leaving the newspaper to become executive director of The Phil Hardin Foundation.
The announcement was made Tuesday in the newspaper by Journal Publisher and CEO Clay Foster. Foster says no decision has been made on Gray’s successor.
“Lloyd is an outstanding editor and an even better person,” Foster said in a statement. “For the past 23 years, he’s embodied a set of principles and values consistent with the Journal’s that has served this company and our community well. Principles such as service, honesty, transparency, inclusion, fairness, dignity and trust.
Gray, 60, will assume his responsibilities in July at the Meridian-based foundation, which provides grants to support innovative educational programs and partnerships in Mississippi.
Gray has close ties to Meridian, where he graduated from high school in 1972. After graduation from Millsaps College, he worked for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville, The Sun Herald in Biloxi/Gulfport and as a Mississippi assistant secretary of state before returning to his hometown in 1990 as editor of The Meridian Star. He came to Tupelo two years later.
Gray and his wife Sally have three children.
“I’ll always consider it a privilege to have been part of the rich heritage and promising future of this newspaper and a blessing to have lived, worked and raised a family in such an extraordinary community,” Gray said.
The Phil Hardin Foundation was established in 1964 by the owner of the Meridian-based Hardin Bakeries Corp., as a vehicle for improving the lives of Mississippians through better educational opportunities.