Liberia’s Foremost Historian Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu is Dead
GANTA, Nimba County – Renowned and celebrated Liberian historian, Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu has died at the age of 81.
Dr. Guannu died on Monday, August 29, at about 8:43 p.m. in Ganta City, Nimba after a protracted illness. He spent his last days out of public sight and living quietly at his home in Sanniquellie with his caregiver- grandson Prince Guannu.
A family source said he was rushed to Ganta on Monday after relapsing, but “he did not make it”.
Born on September 17, 1940, Dr. Guannu, began his primary and secondary education in his native Sanniquellie and obtained other higher and doctorate degrees in the United States.
Dr. Guannu became a household name in Liberia and well respected among the company of authors of Liberian history for not only authoring several books that up to date remain text books, but by also rectifying several errors in Liberian history.
He was a Liberian academic, diplomat, and historian, who founded the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Cuttington University.
He authored several books including ‘Liberia History before 1857’, ‘Liberian History up to 1847’, ‘The Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of Liberia from Joseph Jenkins Roberts to William Richard Tolbert Jr. (1848 -1976).’ Others are ‘An Introduction to Liberian Government: The first Republic and the People’s Redemption Council from 1983-1985’ and ‘Liberian Civics 2004-2010’, ‘The Perennial Problems of Liberian History 1989’, and ‘Nation-states and challenges of Regional Integration in West Africa’, among other captivating and educative writings.
He was one of the country’s greatest and most politically respected historians whose work was widely read by many and continue to be. He was sought after for his insights on Liberian history.
He suspended all of his projects due to ill-health coupled with aging condition. Among his suspended works include the ‘History of the Origin of Nimba’.
Dr. Guannu served as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States and Canada. He also lectured as adjunct faculty at the UL Graduate School of International Relations for many years prior to his illness.
In February this year, he was honored by the Government of Liberia for his immense contribution to the preservation of Liberia’s history and at programs marking the celebration of Liberia’s bicentennial.