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Biography

Paul Miller Collection

Biography

From traditional American roots Paul Miller rose to a position of international influence in both the Gannett Corporation and Associated Press. His world-wide acquaintances, newspaper knowledge, and communication skills were acknowledged by many newspapermen in 1957 when he became president of the Gannett Corporation, and again in 1963 when he was also elected president of Associated Press. His decades of leadership have provided a legacy in the realms of journalism that will endure for generations.

Editor Miller at the editor's desk of the Okemah Daily Leader office in Aug. 1928 Born in 1906 to a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister's family in Diamond,  Missouri, Mr. Miller's  own experiences in the newspaper world began in communities in  Oklahoma. While still in high school, he  worked for the Pawhuska Daily Journal as a  reporter and even served briefly as city editor. During college,  he worked for the Daily  Oklahoman as well as on student newspapers at the University of Oklahoma and at  Oklahoma A & M College, from which he graduated in 1931 after haven taken a year out  to be publisher  and reporter for yet another newspaper, the Okemah Daily Leader.

 

Miller's first job with Associated Press began in 1932, the same year in which he met and married Louise Johnson. During their first eleven years of marriage, they moved ten times as the enterprising newspaperman worked for a variety of AP bureaus in Ohio, Missouri, Utah, Pennsylvania, and New York. Then in 1942 Miller became chief of the Washington bureau, where for five years he guided national political coverage for Associated Press and headed the AP staff who reported the 1945 United Nations Organization conference in San Francisco.

Frank Gannett persuaded the adept bureau chief to make another move and join his corporation in 1947. Sailing on the Widgeon, Summer of 1961Ten years later Miller was elected president of Gannett Co. Under his leadership this major media group carried out a vigorous expansion program and placed its stock on the public market.

As president and chief executive officer of the Gannett Corporation from 1957 to 1978, and as president and chairman of Associated Press from 1963 to 1977, Paul Miller traveled widely, reporting both on current events and on political, social, and cultural aspects of the countries visited. He met with presidents and other world leaders and served as the national spokesman on journalistic affairs. In the latter activity, he encouraged journalism to grow and keep up with changes in society as well as with developing technologies and to preserve its integrity. Throughout his years as a newspaperman, Miller maintained that "Our actions must be determined not by mere compliance with state or federal law, not by public attitudes, but on the basis of doing the right thing."

© 2008 Oklahoma State University