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Leonard Guyes

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Biographical/Historical note:

Leonard Guyes was born August 18, 1929, and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, at the age of two. Following graduation from Greensboro High School, Guys enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1952, Guyes returned to Greensboro to help run Prago-Guyes, a women’s apparel store his father co-owned. The younger Guyes trained under Sam Prago and later took over for his father.

In the early 1960s, Prago-Guyes was one of many downtown businesses targeted with pickets and boycotts. During this time, Leonard Guyes served as president of the Greensboro Merchants Association and thus participated in negotiations between business owners and civil rights activists. Guyes was also appointed to the mayor’s Human Relations Commission to serve in a similar capacity. He later established other branches of the store throughout the Piedmont, but continued to operate Prago-Guyes on Elm Street until 1978.

In addition to his participation in above-mentioned organizations, Guyes has served on the boards of the local United Way, Red Cross, and Cerebral Palsy Association, in addition to the Greensboro Jewish Foundation and Community Consumer Credit Council Service. He also served as president of Temple Emanuel and the Blumenthal Jewish Home.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Leonard Guyes by Eugene Pfaff
Date: September 21, 1982
By: Leonard Guyes
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a September 21, 1982, oral history interview conducted by Eugene Pfaff with Leonard Guyes, Guyes discusses the rise and demise of businesses in downtown Greensboro from the 19...