Larry Gray

SPEC Remembers Larry Gray

SPEC is mourning the loss of Larry Gray, the long-time Treasurer of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) and technical contributor in many different benchmark areas, who passed away on January 30, 2011.

Larry was involved with SPEC from its inception and has worked on so many benchmarks that neither memory nor archives can serve to list them all. As SPEC's long serving treasurer, Larry helped guide us to our current financially solid position, with a fine professional staff amplifying the efforts of our volunteers, and with the ability safely to invest in strategic initiatives to advance SPEC's mission.

"Larry was truly a visionary, though he never would have used such a grandiose word for himself. He just saw it as practical necessity that SPEC would meet industry needs, and Larry was instrumental in bringing together diverse groups to work for our common mission." says Walter Bays, SPEC President.

Larry was an integral part of the development of the SPECpower benchmark. Of all his SPEC projects, Larry was particularly proud of his work on this committee and of the continued strides the committee has made as Larry moved on to other challenges. Please enjoy hearing Larry talk about the benchmark in this video from Intel:

Larry is survived by his wife, Melissa, and two children, William and Lauren.



You may add your own remembrance of Larry Gray to be posted to this site.

We just had a beer together, as we always did at the F2F meetings, to shared stories about the good "old" days and all the new opportunities ahead of us.

Larry had a unique personality, I especially remember the many heated discussions in the SPECpower Committee and the equally many cold beers thereafter.

We also shared the passion for fast cars and I will never forget the close race we had in Austin. There we pushed Michael Paton's Porsche to its limits - Yes, he surely enjoyed life and use to say "This is not the final adventure just a great one before the next greater challenge."

The shocking news about his passing hit us all very hard and Larry's energy and persistence will be remembered.

My condolences to his wife Melissa and his children William and Lauren, my prayers are with them.

Klaus-Dieter Lange (HP)

Larry did much to educate me and change how I thought about many aspects of SPEC. It was inspiring to work with him on the Power committee.

He asked me as he left the annual meeting this year to send the awards evening pictures for his award, and I did so (hence, he clearly appreciated the award and its trappings). He acknowledged them with his inimitable self-deprecating humor, commenting that he had had no idea how much he was mugging. That is the Larry I will remember dearly.

Alan Adamson

Larry was an unstinting advocate for great benchmarks and an eloquent spokesperson for all things SPEC. I believe I met him in 1993, around the time of the first SFS benchmark. I could count on him to do a great interview with a reporter or editor -- his articulate passion, knowledge and historical perspective was always enlightening. Thanks, Larry, for helping keep SPEC in the public eye and for keeping your eyes on the budget lines.

Bob Cramblitt (Cramblitt & Company)


I met Larry in 1988 when I joined HP in Fort Collins and worked in his group. We became friends and started sailing together during that period. He moved back to the Bay area and I started working for a group of HP in the bay area, so we still got to see each other and go sailing occasionally. I left HP to join Dell in 1999 and Larry left HP to join Intel. His marketing role at Intel meant that he and I still worked together to coordinate benchmark publications on Dell hardware that used the Intel processors.

It was always a pleasure to sit down with Larry and talk about the state of the performance industry and what was happening in SPEC and the TPC. We never missed a chance to have dinner whenever we were in the same town at the same time.

I have to end with the admission that I will miss Larry very much. He was a good friend and we spent many days on sailboats together. Larry was always thinking about how all of us could do things better and how we should work together for the common good. He was never afraid to point out things that needed to change or be fixed. He was always positive in his approach and joyful in his interactions so that one would always feel good, even about the things that needed fixing.

Michael Molloy

I first met Larry when I became the representative to the SPECpower committee for Sun Microsystems, a committee that Larry was integral in the formation of. I was immediately impressed by his technical competence, his reasoned advocacy for his opinions, and his encouragement of others to make the right choices for SPEC and our industry.

Over the years that we worked together my appreciation of Larry grew. As a competitor he challenged me to be my best so that his own points of view would be tested and perfected; as a colleague he encouraged excellence in others and enjoyed their growth and success. As a friend he was inclusive and welcoming and always fun to be with.

His work on SPECpower forms a lasting legacy in the greening of the IT industry, as does his influence on and encouragement of his colleagues in many companies who continue that work. I will miss Larry very much.

Chris Boire

Larry and I argued with each other for twenty-odd years (back in the days of CPU92 Larry and I were known as two of the most divergent opinions across all of SPEC even though we worked for the same company and hence shared only one vote between us). Over these years Larry and I debated a vast universe of issues, but one fact remained true throughout: I enjoyed absolutely every argument I have ever had with him; his viewpoint may have been entirely different from mine, but his passion was infectious and inspiring, his observations were usually insightful, and his ability to maintain focus on the larger picture was always helpful. Of course, no matter what happened during these debates, with Larry there was always time afterwards to put aside the arguments and share a bottle of wine or a round of beers and connect again as colleagues and friends. The sudden news of his death leaves me with holes in my arguments and corks in my bottles, and that is just all wrong...

Part of what made it so enjoyable to work with, or even against, Larry was that he was a great competitor - that is he appeared to thrive on competition, whether the venue was high-pricetag benchmark projects, or blustery sailing conditions, or timing laps in a go-cart. However, unlike those for whom winning is the only enjoyment, Larry seemed more interested in and inspired by the qualities of the challenge itself more than the outcome. So far as I ever saw, Larry never gained satisfaction from winning a weak or flawed contest. With Larry, "Better Benchmarks" was not just a marketing slogan; this was, and shall continue to be, his challenge to us all.

Alexander Carlton

I'm glad that Larry and I got to spend some one-on-one time reminiscing at the annual meeting dinner. I will miss him as a friend and mentor. Larry's legacy will be felt at SPEC for many years to come.

Steve Realmuto

My knowledge of Larry was primarily from watching him give the Treasurer's report at the annual meeting of all the members. It obviously tickled him when I told him that it was my favorite part of the meeting: he had to buy a bigger car after that to fit his head into the vehicle. Yet, I was telling the truth; he gave key insight into the organization and helped us feel like it belongs to all of us.

At Larry's final Board meeting at the face-to-face meeting 26 January 2011, I sat next to him as he passed the Treasurer's role to Steve Realmuto. During a later part of the meeting, he provided me with private encouragement while passing me a note to give me more homework to do. Classic Larry, especially since the homework was better done off-line rather than taking up Board time. I feel like I still owe him that homework.

I cannot recall whether it was that morning at the annual business meeting 26 Jan 2011, or at the dinner that evening, but I recall that the community gave him a standing ovation to thank him for his many years as Treasurer, and that he was touched.

John Henning