William L. Guy was born in Devils Lake, N.D. in 1919. He attended public school in Amenia, N.D., and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota Agricultural College, and then a Masters of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and Business Economics from the University of Minnesota. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Guy worked in a variety of occupations until 1960, most in the agricultural field. A member of the Nonpartisan League since 1954, occupying a number of committee positions, he received the Democratic-Nonpartisan League nomination for Governor in 1960, and served as North Dakota's 26th governor for 12 years. As the state's chief executive, he was involved in many prominent projects in North Dakota's history, including the Garrison Diversion Project, the creation of the Tourism Promotion Division and the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Hall of Fame, and the North Dakota Heritage Commission, which paved the way for the construction of the North Dakota Heritage Center. Guy was also the chairman of the National Governor's Conference in 1968. After leaving office, he served as the executive director of the North Dakota Community Foundation, worked as a consultant for Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and was appointed by Governor Arthur A. Link as chairman of the Public Employees Retirement Commission. Guy was later appointed to a six year term on the State Water Commission by Governor George Sinner.