NewsLocal NewsCleveland Metro


Beloved Cleveland icon and philanthropist Samuel Miller has died

Posted at 1:16 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 13:21:47-05

CLEVELAND — Samuel Miller, a beloved Cleveland icon and philanthropist, died Thursday at the age of 97.

“Sam Miller was one of those unique people and part of his uniqueness is that he knew business, politics and people,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. “It is those attributes that allowed him to be that person, who you could look at and say that Cleveland is what it is today because of what this man did. He is someone who became a friend over a period of time. Sam was a humanitarian, a veteran, a philanthropist and he will be missed by Cleveland and me.”

Miller was the co-chairman emeritus of the board of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., a commercial and real estate firm based in Cleveland, where Miller worked since 1947, according to his profile from the Cleveland Clinic, where he served on the board of directors.

Miller was a member of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, co-chairman of the Board of Trustees of Medical Mutual of Ohio, and a member of the board of trustees of the following organizations: John Carroll University, Baldwin Wallace College, Notre Dame College, the Jewish National Fund, WVIZ ideastream, the Police Memorial Board, and The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation. He was also an honorary trustee of Case Western University, a lifetime honorary trustee of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, an Honorary lifetime member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and past chairman of the Cleveland Jewish Welfare Fund.

“Sam Miller was one of the most important local leaders of our time,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “He worked across political, religious and racial lines by finding common ground while working on many major projects in our community. Sam was a key to the success of countless efforts that have made this county a better place to live. Sam was one of the most supportive individuals I have ever worked with. He always looked for the best in people.”

Miller was also an early founder of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to his obituary. He was “deeply devoted throughout his life to advancing the cause of Holocaust remembrance and education,” stated museum representatives. “The Museum sends heartfelt condolences to his wife, Maria, and his children, Aaron, Abraham, Richard and Gabrielle.”

“Jane and I mourn the loss of Sam Miller, a remarkable man who touched the lives of so many in Cleveland and around the world,” said U.S. Senator Rob Portman. “Sam was a friend who always offered a wise word on how to make the world a better place. His leadership in the Jewish community was legendary and a source of inspiration. After an extraordinary life of nearly a century, Sam will live on through the legacy of all he accomplished in business, philanthropy, and for his community.”

Services for Miller will be held on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. at The Park Synagogue, located at 3300 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights, his obituary states. Miller’s internment will be at Bet Olam Cemetery. Miller’s family will receive friends on Sunday following service and internment until 7:30 p.m. at Beechmont Country Club, located at 29600 Chagrin Blvd. in Orange. On Monday, family will receive friends at the residence of Barbara and Abe Miller, 20011 North Park Blvd. in Shaker Heights, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friends may contribute to the Holocaust Survivors Initiative Fund c/o the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.