By Associated Press - Friday, July 24, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Civil rights advocate, businessman and state commissioner Francis Guess has died. He was 69.

Family friend Vincent Williams said Guess died at his home Thursday night. The cause of death was not yet known.

Guess was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Commission on Civil Rights in 1983. He previously served as Tennessee’s labor commissioner under then-Gov. Lamar Alexander.

Guess was an executive for Danner Co., which operated the Shoney’s chain of restaurants. He also owned and operated the Helicopter Corporation of America.

Guess was first appointed to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission in 1973. He also served as Tennessee commissioner of general services and as assistant commissioner in the Department of Personnel.

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