Gray Eminence

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Gray Eminence:

see Joseph, FatherJoseph, Father
(François Leclerc du Tremblay), 1577–1638, French Capuchin monk, a confidant and agent of Cardinal Richelieu, generally known as the Éminence Grise [gray eminence].
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He went to considerable lengths to tell his side of the story and to vindicate his actions, even while Edith Wilson and the other members of Wilson's entourage continued to demonize the erstwhile gray eminence and to blame him for the president's postwar failures.
In a bureaucracy where, if the term eminence grise did not exist we would have to invent it, Navarro-Valls has become that rare Vatican phenomenon, a lay gray eminence. Nowadays he steps before the cameras only for big occasions, but observers have no doubt he is still pulling the PR strings.
His hands are enormous, and though he is now the gray eminence himself, those enormous hands were rock solid, steady, and, well, just there.
McCain's Annapolis classmate Poindexter was a Boy Scout and banker's son, first in his class, a "cherubic gray eminence" who "thought through a problem and crafted a solution before anyone else realized that a problem existed." After receiving a doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology, Poindexter went to sea and was eventually assigned to the staff of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Lett, the gray eminence of Oregon winegrowing, proprietor of Eyrie Vineyards and longtime champion of his state's Pinot noir, called on Sutcliffe to open the celebration.
A final, vaguely visible competitor is the gray eminence of this business, the nuclear-driven X-ray laser.