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Answered 2014-05-30 00:32:38

Unfortunately, Guy Smith died on February 20, 2012 at the age of 67. He and his wife Margaret "Peggy" Rusk, daughter of U.S. Secretary Dean Rusk, were married for 44 years.

The Smiths made national headlines in September 1967 when they were wed in Palo Alto, California. Smith, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force reserve at the time, was an African American. The 18-year-old Rusk, whose family was from Georgia, was white.

The Sept. 23, 1967 edition of Time magazine featured a cover photo of the couple taken after the wedding ceremony. The headline: "MR. & MRS. GUY SMITH/An Interracial Wedding."

Three months before the ceremony, on June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court made interracial marriages legal throughout the country in the case titled Loving v. Virginia.

Secretary of State Rusk reportedly offered to resign before the wedding so that it would not have a negative impact on the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. But he was persuaded to stay by the president and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara.

Smith, who graduated from Georgetown, saw active duty as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

The Smiths had a daughter, Samantha, and two grandchildren.

In a May 2014 interview on the occasion of the premiere of a Georgia Public Broadcasting documentary about Dean Rusk, his daughter remembered the national headlines and the Time cover. "That was a big shock," she said. "We weren't trying to make any kind of statement. It has really nothing to do with our relationship. The fact that everyone else was making a big deal about it was their issue."

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