Larry H. Miller
Larry H. Miller was the owner of the Utah Jazz professional basketball team. He also presided over an automotive and entertainment empire that included more than three dozen auto dealerships, Megaplex theaters, Energy Solutions Arena (home of the Jazz), and Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
Larry Miller was born on April 26, 1944, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from West High School with a 1.7 GPA and dropped out of the University of Utah after a little more than a month. He began his rise to prominence as a stocker in an auto parts store, and bought his first car dealership in 1979. He married Karen Gail Saxon, his high school sweetheart, on March 25, 1965, and they had four sons and one daughter.
Miller played softball himself, and was a fast pitcher, striking fear in the hearts of batters. He contributed $50 million to Salt Lake Community College and provided substantial funding for the Joseph Smith Papers project. Miller died on February 20, 2009, at his home of complications arising from type 2 diabetes. He was 64.
Miller became a co-owner of the Utah Jazz when he purchased a 50% interest in the team on April 11, 1985 for $9.5 million. On June 16, 1986, he purchased the remaining 50% from Sam Battistone for $17.3 million.
Miller built the Energy Solutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) in downtown Salt Lake City to house the Jazz NBA team.
Miller was an unpaid consultant in the project to construct Spring Mobile Ballpark, now the home of the Los Angeles Angels' AAA affiliate Salt Lake Bees. He purchased the team in 2005, changing the name from the Salt Lake Stingers to the Bees.
He also owned the Salt Lake Golden Eagles ice hockey team, which he purchased in September 1989. (Wikipedia)
Miller contributed to a variety of causes and organizations, including a $21 million dollar training center for law enforcement and corrections officers, as well as a significant investment towards a campus for Salt Lake Community College, which are both named in his honor. (Wikipedia) In November 1995, he formed Larry H. Miller Charities. His public service was recognized by numerous awards, including the Utah Minuteman Award from the Utah National Guard in 1990, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Utah in 1991, and the Tourist Achievement Award from the Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1992.
- After Miller's death, MormonTimes.com ran a series of articles about Miller, related to a book about his life called Driven:An Autobiography. Click here to read the articles.
- Larry Miller became inactive in the Mormon Church as a youth, and later went through a period of "reconversion." To read about it, click here.
- LDS Week, Daily Herald, Sunday, March 29, 2009