George A. Miller received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and his MBA from the Haas School of Business in 1961. A self-made man, he retired in 1996 as Chairman of Capital Research & Management Company, an extremely successful investment research and consulting firm in San Francisco. Miller comes from a very modest family background; he was the first in his family to attend college. As a young person he spent a great deal of time in the public library and thereby developed a lifelong interest in books. He gave a $1 million gift to UC Berkeley in the mid 1990’s, which was divided between support of undergraduate education (through the Miller Scholars Program) and the Library Humanities Collection. He is especially concerned about third world poverty, the homeless in San Francisco, and environmental issues. By providing financial support as well as his own time and energy, Miller has supported many programs dealing with these issues, including Oxfam, the Salvation Army, and Save the Redwoods/Save the Bay. At Berkeley, he has also been very supportive of the Business School, the Cal Band, and Athletics.
In His Own Words
I grew up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, attended the University of Pennsylvania (on a Geography scholarship) served in the U.S. army and received an MBA from Berkeley in 1961. After a reasonably successful 35-year career in the mutual fund business (American Express and Capital Research), I left my day job in order to spend full time making the world a better place. I have been involved in a number of environmental causes over the past forty years, the latest being to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley, in effect creating another Yosemite. I developed my ‘estate plan’ years ago: give everything away, live to be 80, have a double vodka and die broke. The two biggest successes of this undertaking are a micro-credit program in Vietnam, which has served 45,000 poor women and the Miller Scholarship. I am extremely proud of these “investments” and it has been a lot of fun. I have been a Trustee of the U.C. Berkeley foundation for several years and a serious supporter of the Cal Band.