Herbert S. Gay
Herbert S. Gay, Zeta, 1902, Phi Alpha 1940-1941
Herbert S. Gay, Zeta, 1902, Phi Alpha 1940-1941, was a very successful leather
manufacturer in Newark, New Jersey.
Brother Gay was treasurer (1903-1923) and later president (1923-1943) of Blanchard
Bros. & Lane, which was founded in 1860 and whose plant spanned two city blocks and
is pictured below. The company employed more than 300 employees. He was also a
director of Manufacturers National Bank and a member of the St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in
Brother Gay was Phi Alpha at the beginning of the United States entry into World War II.
He and other Zete leaders (most notably the next three Phi Alphas, Bateman, Lydecker
and Motley) mobilized the Fraternity and its operations to support the war effort. Almost
3,000 Zetes were in uniform during the war and 50 Zeta Psi Service Centers were
established across North America, in London, Hawaii and Australia as greeting places
for visiting Zete soldiers.
Brother Gay died shortly after his term as Phi Alpha on January 29, 1943
Brother Gay’s son, Sherwood B., Gay, who succeeded him as president of Blanchard
Bros. & Lane, was also a Zeta Zete.