Ralph C. Guzman; Latino Educator, Carter Aide

Associated Press

Ralph C. Guzman, deputy assistant secretary of state in the Carter Administration and one of the nation’s leading Latino educators, is dead at age 60 after a stroke.

Guzman suffered the stroke last Sunday and died Thursday, after he was taken off life-support systems, according to daughter Christine D. Guzman.

“I think he’s a remarkable example of a Mexican-American who utilized the facilities of public education and made a considerable contribution (to society),” said Dean McHenry, former chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who hired Guzman to teach at the school and who knew Guzman since he was a UCLA graduate student.

Guzman rose from working as a field hand to his State Department post, where he was responsible for formulating and implementing much of the nation’s policy in Central and South America.


Author of Several Books

Guzman also authored books, including “The Political Socialization of Mexican-American People” in 1976, “The Function of Anglo-American Racism in the Political Development of Chicanos” in 1971, and “The Mexican-American: Our Second Minority” in 1970.

Guzman served four years in the Navy during World War II. After the war, he enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. He graduated from UCLA in 1970 with a doctorate in political science.

From 1970 to 1977, Guzman served as an associate professor of politics and community studies, after which he took a leave of absence to serve under President Carter. He returned to UC Santa Cruz in 1980.


Guzman is survived by his former wife, Margaret Stella Guzman; his daughter, Christine; two nephews and two nieces.