Sunday, February 22, 2009

Larry Horne Miller

The owner of the Utah Jazz basketball team passed away on February 20 at the age of 64, from a rare and deadly disease called calciphylaxis, a type of vascular calcification. He was born on April 26, 1944, as Lawrence Horne West, but his parents divorced in 1946 and he was adopted by his step-father Frank Soren Miller. Coach Jerry Sloan is two years older than Larry.

He owned many businesses including: a TV station, automobile dealerships, Miller Motorsports Park, a sports clothing store, restaurants, and movie theaters. He also used his wealth to donate to several charities. I think his greatest accomplishment was involved with his ownership of the Utah Jazz. He became co-owner in 1985 and one year later bought out the other partner. He built the arena the Jazz currently play in. The facility offers other activities throughout the year such as: concerts, comedians, the Monster Truck Jam, the circus, dinosaur displays, and Disney on Ice.

In 2006 he caused a controversy for refusing to allow the film Brokeback Mountain in his theaters. I wonder if he had to violate any contracts to do so, however it must have been a minor problem because his theaters continue to operate. Sometimes it is hard to stick to your beliefs, but I admire him for doing so knowing that it could cause him to lose revenue.

I enjoyed this statement from Salt Lake’s mayor:
I was saddened to hear the news of Larry Miller’s passing. On behalf of the residents of Salt Lake City, I extend my deepest sympathy to the Miller family during this difficult time. Salt Lake City has lost a dear friend and community leader. I have long admired Larry’s work ethic, charitable deeds and personal philosophy for doing good work in the community. His signature phrase, “Go about doing good until there is too much good in the world,” inspired us all. Larry was born and raised in Salt Lake City and truly helped shape the character of his home town."

I had a common ancestor with him through polygamist Joseph Horne (born 1812 in London), but I never met Larry.


At 2/24/2009 8:49 AM, Blogger Annie said...

Thanks for all the comments! I was a little shocked when I saw them all, but pleasantly surprised. And you reminded me. I forgot to write a one year post. Nuts! Oh well. I guess I'll have to write one in dedication to that momentous day. :D

That's really interesting that you and Larry Miller had a common relative. It was a sad loss indeed. He was a great man! Thanks for writing the tribute!


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