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Gray, Sir James, 1891-1975 (Knight, zoologist)



  • Existence: 1891 - 1975


Sir James Gray (1891-1975) was born in London on the 14th of October, 1891. As a child he held a deep curiousity about the working of the natural world, and that curiosity extended throughout the rest of his life. He won a scholarship to study at King's College in Cambridge, and graduated in 1914, at which time he became a Fellow. He enlisted to serve in the Queen's Royal West Surrey at the start of World War I, and served as Lieutenant and later Acting Captain until the end of the war. He went on to make significant contributions to the fields of zoology and marine biology, and was especially noted for his developments in cytology (cell biology) and his work on animal movement, in particular Gray's Paradox (concering the speed and movement of dolphins). Gray married his wife Norah in the early 1920s. During his middle age and later life, Gray became an influential mentor for many younger zoologists. He remained involved in zoology throughout his life, researching and teaching at Cambridge, and involving himself with several zoological societies. Gray was knighted in 1954 and died in Cambridge in 1975.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Sir James Gray: Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8125
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a wide variety of biographical materials (including Gray's diaries and maps from his service in WWI), Gray's undergraduate and post-graduate research notebooks (including notebooks documenting his ground-breaking work on animal locomotion), a number of research-related working papers (including notes), notes and slides for lectures, and a selection of professional correspondence concerning research and Gray's participation in various Committees.

Dates: 1909-1975 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (