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Gene Miller

Gene Miller

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June 02, 2015
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June 02, 2015
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use
July 05, 2005
Dear Caroline, Melissa and I were on vacation and did not hear about Gene's passing until after we returned last week. We are deeply saddened by your loss and hope your wonderful memories of Gene will bring you comfort and some smiles during this difficult time. He was a wonderful man.

Steven and Melissa
July 04, 2005
I have been moved by all the personal remembrances about my father. He had many great accomplishments, one of them being that he touched so many lives.

Thanks to each and every one of you for sharing your memories.
June 30, 2005
Oh, my. What a loss! I was not in town when the service occured but I would have cheered him nonetheless. I have known Gene from the time I moved here with first husband, Peter Gardiner, and we played duplicate bridge with the HERALD group. Such fun and challange. Many lovely and talented opponents. Electra recruited me to be active in the Harvard Club and am grateful for her support. I have admired Gene's skill in journalism and social situations and enthusiasm for everything he undertook. My last encountern with him was dashing into the FL grand Opera performance when he proudly announced that he had married a Harvard lawyer and was very happy! If he said he was healthy except for a little cancer, I do not remember. Per his instruction, I shall raise a glass-white wine- in celebration of a fabulous career!
As for me, I shall also write my own vita and plan a musical event to which all are encouraged to "come colorful" and party afterward. Thanks, Gene!! Hugs, jan
June 30, 2005
Gene Miller was the greatest gift to journlism and I continue to be inspired by his righteous legacy of doing good journalism.

Thanks Gene.
June 29, 2005
This is a great American: a thoughtful, proud, humble man of character. His son Tom's approach to life is a testament to his values and personnae.
June 29, 2005
Tell the tale.
Twenty-four years later, I can still hear Gene Miller’s mantra. Millerization is sometimes summarized in words such as staccato and simplify. Fair enough.
What I remember is this:
Don’t spend seven paragraphs telling the reader why they should read the long story that follows. Set the table with a snappy sentence or two. Make clear why the story is important in perhaps one more sentence. Then, tell the tale. Start to finish, chronologically. Don’t give away a bunch of stuff early. Build tension, let events unfold, save something sweet for the kicker.
1981. I was 24-year-old reporter in the Herald’s one-person bureau in Fort Pierce, Fla., filing two stories a day to fit a half-page zoned edition. Learned to write on deadline. Trouble was, I wondered if anyone in Miami saw the zoned edition. So I searched for stories that would make the full Sunday paper. Some of my offerings about drug kingpins and charlatans began to catch Miller’s eye.
Miller liked my reporting. What he wanted to teach me was the other half: story telling. I watched as he boiled those seven paragraphs down to two. Strike that. He boiled seven paragraphs to two. I soaked it up.
Soon, I was packing my bags, and figured Miller had a hand in that. I was heading out of Fort Pierce to cover South Beach _ something about a scandalous plan to tear down hundreds of Art Deco buildings and kick out thousands of residents. Turned out to be a good assignment.
Tell the tale, Miller said. Better yet, let the tale tell itself.
Thanks, Gene.
June 28, 2005
When the Vietnam memorial was to be dedicated in Washington D.C., I
wanted to cover it because my brother's name appears on it.

Pete Weitzel said to me, "Let me get this straight: You want to go to Washington to make a color photo of a black wall for Page 1?"

"Yes," I assured him. "It will be colorful."

I flew up and back the same day. While I was at the light table editing the film, the duty officer declared, "We don't put photo illustrations on 1A."

You see, I had made a double exposure of the statue of three soldiers near the memorial (which was colorful) and placed them in the black granite wall of names (to add the color). Now here I was, back from the assignment with a color photo of the black wall for Pete only to be stopped by the duty officer and the alleged no-illustrations rule.

By some great stroke of luck, Gene Miller happened to be walking by. Now, I knew Gene knew what a good photo was, regardless, so I flagged him over to the light table and asked what he thought.

Gene looked at the photo for precisely one second and roared: "Great picture -- stupid rule! Put it on the front!" Then he kept on walking.

The photo ran on 1A the next day, and it was indeed colorful, and I always loved Gene for that.
June 28, 2005

Gene said:

“Damn cops won’t talk. Go see ‘em. Wear the red skirt.”

Wear the red skirt?! What the hell kind of newsroom is this?

It was Gene’s newsroom, of course.

I went home, put on jeans.

Plus, tennis shoes. (Gene had voted for heels.)

Then I went out and got the story. All of it. Every bit.

Next day, I tossed my pad on Gene’s desk.

“Didn’t need the skirt,” I said.

“I know that!” he hollered. “But I sure got you fired up, didn’t I?”

Yep. He sure did.

Gene wasn’t P.C. He didn’t care what H.R. thought. He hated think tanks, big meetings, company check-mark evaluations. He liked typewriters, personal notes, slaps on the back.

He loved … stories. Not just the tales themselves, but the chase.

And that’s why he was utterly unconcerned by the notion that perhaps he should not, if you wanted to split hairs, order a reporter into a red skirt. Hell, it could look bad.

Hell, who cared?

He knew one of two things would happen. Either the skirt would get the story, or the reporter would get it, in her blue jeans, just to show Gene. Not to impress him, exactly. But to buoy him. Because he was best that way, bobbing up and down on a never-ending sea of stories. If Gene sank, the entire newsroom would drown.

I still have that skirt. It’s 15 years old, and I keep it because it’s a classic, and they don’t make them that way anymore.
June 27, 2005
Never did a Herald editor do so much to improve a story, and claim credit so little. Instead, he praised the work of his colleagues as if we were equals, his contribution known only to us. There will never be another one. Thank you, Gene.
June 27, 2005
Caroline-

I'm very sorry for your loss.

-David

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