Gray, Edmund John Chisholm Dwyer (1870–1945), journalist and politician, was born 2 April 1870 in Dublin, son of Edmund Dwyer Gray (qv), MP, and Caroline Agnes Gray (née Chisholm). Gray's grandfather, Sir John Gray (qv), had been proprietor of the Dublin Freeman's Journal and an associate of Daniel O'Connell (qv). Educated in Scotland and at Clongowes Wood College (1884–7), Gray returned from a visit to Australia after the death of his father in 1888 and joined the editorial board of the Freeman's Journal. In 1891 Gray reversed the Freeman policy, helping to bring down Charles Stewart Parnell (qv), whom he had formerly supported.
In 1894, having divested the family of interests in the paper, Gray settled permanently in Australia. Following business failure and marriage in Sydney (2 February 1897) to Clara Agatha Rose, Gray settled in Tasmania as an orchardist and farmer near New Norfolk. Again unsuccessful, in 1912 Gray became editor of the Labor Daily News. Despite heavy drinking, he continued as editor until he quarrelled with the Australian Workers’ Union, which had bought the paper. Gray worked as a journalist in Sydney for Jack Lang, later Labor premier of New South Wales; he returned to Hobart to edit a new Labor weekly, The People's Voice, controlled by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
In 1928, hyphenating his name as Dwyer-Gray to obtain higher placement on an alphabetically arranged ballot paper in Tasmania's proportional representative system, he was elected to the local house of assembly and held his seat until his death. Elected deputy Labor leader to Albert Ogilvie, on Labor's victory in the Tasmanian general election of 1934, Gay became treasurer (finance minister). On Ogilvie's death in 1939, by agreement with Robert Cosgrove, Gray held the premiership for six months before reverting to treasurer under Cosgrove, and died in that office.
A colourful personality, Gray played an important role in the development of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party, frequently representing it on federal bodies. His journalism was often vitriolic. During the first world war he supported voluntary enlistment but strongly opposed conscription and took up the cause of his homeland, forming a branch of the Self-Determination for Ireland League. He advocated socialisation and ‘One big union’ in the early 1920s. Strongly influenced by social credit theory during the depression, Gray denounced federal Labor leaders for not implementing the party's programme of national credit. In 1933 he supported a short-lived attempt to separate Tasmanian Labor from the federal body. A devout catholic, Gray later advocated a form of catholic distributism.
As state treasurer, Gray achieved a favourable treatment for Tasmania from federal bodies such as the commonwealth grants commission and the loan council. Such finance enabled the Tasmanian Labor government to institute social reforms, helping it to retain unbroken power from 1934 to 1969. Gray died in Hobart on 6 December 1945 and was buried in the city's Cornelian Bay cemetery. He was survived by his wife; they had no children.