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Published April 26, 2013, 02:19 PM

Former governor of 12 years, Bill Guy dies at 93

Former governor Bill Guy passed away today at a care facility in the Fargo area. Guy was elected governor four times--more than any other North Dakota governor, serving twelve years.

Former governor Bill Guy passed away today at a care facility in the Fargo area. Guy was elected governor four times--more than any other North Dakota governor, serving twelve years.

He was known on the national stage for his friendships with presidents Kennedy and Johnson. At home, he helped lead our state into the modern world.

Bill Guy was governor of North Dakota from 1961 to 1973. He was born in Devils Lake, but lived in Cass County farming at Amenia. He was a county agent, teacher and legislator.

Clay Jenkinson, The Dakota Institute: "In fact he was courted by both the repubilcan and democratic party when he first began in local politics in Cass County and everyone realized this man has a great mind, he's extremely articulate, he listens well and he has vision for what this state can be and he's not afraid to say North Dakota's as important a state as California, or New York."

Jenkinson says Guy had gumption. His spirit and resourcefulness led to relationships with President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johson.

Jenkinson: "So Bill Guy is a much bigger figure than just a great North Dakotan. He was a national figure and in fact he was one of our first national figures and his death leaves a kind of a void in statemenship in North Dakota."

The interstate highway system, development of the coal industry and Garrison Diversion Project all took place on Guy's watch.

Jenkinson: "He believed that this state could be another in the great states of American states and we didnt' have to be a rural backwater and in doing so he changed the attitude of north Dakota life and the econmy that we are all enjoying is bascially a follow up on the set of economic protocols that Bill Guy developed in the 1960's. He reformed North Dakota government."

William Guy was North Dakota's 26th and longest serving governor. He was 93 years old. Guy established the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award and gave the first to Lawrence Welk.

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