G. William Miller ’52, who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and treasury secretary under then-President Jimmy Carter and led a distinguished career in business and investment banking, died on March 17 in Washington, D.C. He was 81.
Miller was a generous and lifelong supporter of Boalt Hall, serving on the school’s recently formed Campaign Cabinet. As national chairman of the Distinguished Professors Project in 1986, he helped raise $1.2 million to endow chairs honoring Boalt professors. Miller was also the 1979 recipient of the Citation Award, the Boalt Hall Alumni Association’s highest honor, and was awarded the UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee’s Citation in 1987.
He was deeply committed to enabling work that would promote the Rule of Law as a means to ensure that nations share a set of values without sacrificing their individual cultures, and was the guiding force behind plans for the innovative Center on Global Challenges & the Law at Boalt.
Miller graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1945. He spent four years as a line officer in the Pacific and Far East, where he married Ariadna Rogojarsky. He subsequently enrolled at Boalt, graduating with high honors in 1952. He considered his legal education one of the key turning points in a life that was filled with great accomplishment and outstanding public service. Miller began his legal career at the New York firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and in 1956 joined a textile manufacturing company which he transformed into the aerospace conglomerate Textron, ultimately holding the position of chief executive officer.
Miller is widely known for his leadership in the Carter administration, where he served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from March 1978 to August 1979, and for 17 months as treasury secretary succeeding W. Michael Blumenthal midterm. Miller later joined Federated Department Stores as chief executive officer from 1990 until 1992.
At the time of his death, Miller was chairman of G. William Miller & Co., a private merchant banking firm in Washington, D.C. In addition to his wife, Miller is survived by three sisters: Catherine Spiller and Myra Fowler of Amarillo, Texas, and Mabel Wade, of Bedford, Virginia; and two brothers, Othneil and Dee, both of Amarillo.
There will be no funeral or memorial services pursuant to Miller’s request. His wish was that “any memorial would be in the memory of those he had loved and known and in whatever good he had left upon our Earth.”
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