Guyot, a native of Pass Christian, Mississippi joined the Freedom Movement in Mississippi in 1961, when he was a student at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 1963. Guyot also directed the SNCC-CORE project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and later became director of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In 1966, Guyot ran for Congress as an anti-war candidate. Guyot was severely beaten many times, including while at the Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm, in the early 1960s. Guyot helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He received a degree in law in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the election of Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.
He has appeared in many documentaries such as Eyes on the Prize in 1987. From the 1990s until the mid-2000s, Guyot often appeared as a commentator on Fox News, defending the legacy of the civil rights movement in heated discussions with hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. He continued speaking out on voting rights issues and encouraged people to vote for President Barack Obama. Until his retirement in 2004, Guyot was a program monitor for the D.C. Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood Development.
His daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone announced on November 24, 2012, that her father died at home in Mount Rainier, Maryland. She said he had heart problems and suffered from diabetes. In addition to his daughter, Guyot is survived by his wife of 47 years, Monica Klein Guyot, a son, Lawrence Guyot III of La Paz, Bolivia, and four grandchildren.
- Biography at History makers
- Harris, Hamil R.; Schudel, Matt (November 25, 2012). "Lawrence Guyot, civil rights leader and community activist, dies at 73". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
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