Francine du Plessix Gray '52
Barnard College mourns the passing of Francine du Plessix Gray ’52, who died on Sunday, January 13 at the age of 88. Gray majored in philosophy at Barnard, after transferring from Bryn Mawr, and went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and literary critic. Born in Poland and raised in Paris, she received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Them: A Memoir of Parents in 2006, about her stepfather Alexander Liberman, an artist and editorial director of Conde Nast, and her mother Tatiana Iacovleff du Plessix. Gray’s first novel, Lovers and Tyrants, was published in 1976.  “The Queen’s Lover,” a historical novel about Marie Antoinette, was published in 2008. Her numerous other book reviews and articles appeared in The New Yorker, Elle, and Art in America. She wrote biographies of Simone Weil, the Marquis de Sade, and 18th century aristocrat Germaine de Staël. She was married to abstract painter Cleve Gray until his death in 2004. Gray received the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2006, the same year she delivered the commencement address. The College extends its heartfelt condolences to her family and all those whose lives she touched.