Auburn trustee Jack Miller of Mobile dies at 65

Published 11:34 am Monday, July 13, 2009

MOBILE, Ala. — Auburn University trustee Jack Miller, a prominent Mobile attorney who pushed for the redevelopment of downtown Mobile and played a major role in Democratic politics, has died at age 65.

Miller died Saturday at his home on Dog River after suffering from cancer for several years, Auburn said in a statement.

His law firm — Miller, Hamilton, Snider and Odom — merged last year with the New Orleans firm of Jones Walker.

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Miller, a founding director of Colonial Bank, was active in Democratic Party politics and played a role in the successful gubernatorial campaign of Fob James in 1978 and Don Siegelman in 1998. With Siegelman’s support, he served as chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party from 1998-2001.

Miller led Mobile’s Downtown Redevelopment Commission from 1990-2006, working with former Mayor Mike Dow to lure $400 million in investments that reinvigorated downtown.

“When I walk around downtown in future years and see how strong and beautiful it is, I will think of Jack, and I will miss him,” Dow told the Mobile Press-Register.

Miller, a graduate of Duke University and the University of Alabama law school, got appointed to Auburn’s board of trustees by Siegelman in 2000. The university named its new writing center in his honor last month.

“Jack brought energy, innovation and an insightful focus to academic quality and scholarship,” Auburn President Jay Gogue said.

Miller is survived by his wife, Susan Ross Miller; his mother, Emily Townsend Miller of Mobile; three children and two grandchildren.

A memorial service for Miller will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Government Street Presbyterian Church.