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Mayor to Princeton, Time Magazine, Nov. 15 1937
11/15/1937 | Princeton, New Jersey
Time Magazine Artilce 1937
Education: Mayor to Princeton
Monday, Nov. 15, 1937 Print Reprints
Louisville's mayor, bushy-browed, tight-lipped Neville Miller, son of Shackelford Miller, onetime Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, has an academic as well as a political background. After graduation from Princeton (where he played varsity soccer, managed the swimming team) and Harvard Law School, he taught law for ten years, in 1930 became the first dean of the University of Louisville School of Law. He resigned in 1933 to be elected the first Democratic mayor of Louisville in 16 years. In Louisville, he staged a financial and governmental reorganization, became president of the Kentucky Municipal League and a director of the U. S. Conference of Mayors, but won his greatest fame when Louisville was swamped by the flood last spring. Mayor Miller then evacuated a large part of the population, summoned aid from far & wide, fed refugees, kept the city machinery functioning.
Last week he followed upward another municipal chief who rode to a bigger job on that same flood, former City Manager Clarence Dykstra of Cincinnati, now president of the University of Wisconsin. For Neville Miller, whose term as mayor expires this month, was named assistant to Harold Willis Dodds, president of Princeton. This means that beginning January 1, Princeton will be distinguished among U. S. universities in being run entirely by experts in municipal government, since President Dodds is already president of the National Municipal League. Assistant Miller will take over the administration in his superior's absence and relieve him of much after-dinner speaking
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A. Died March 27, 1977 (aged 83)
Washington D.C., U.S.A. Occupation Attorney, law professor Title Mayor of Louisville Term 1933-1937 Predecessor William B. Harrison Successor Joseph D. Scholtz Political party Democrat
Neville Miller (February 17, 1894 – March 27, 1977) was mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from 1933 to 1937. His father, Shackelford Miller, was Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals (the highest state appellate court at the time). He was valedictorian of his 1912 class at Louisville Male High School, and earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1916 and a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1920.
Miller practiced law in Louisville with his father and brother, Shackelford Miller, Jr., in the firm Miller and Miller, and was elected president of the Kentucky Bar Association in 1924. However, he primarily taught law during this time, and became the first dean of the University of Louisville School of Law in 1930. After being active in the party for years, he was narrowly elected mayor as a Democrat in 1933, ending 15 years of Republican dominance of the office.
He led the city during the worst years of the Great Depression and helped reorganize city finances for the changing times. Miller is best known as the "flood mayor" for his leadership during the Ohio River flood of 1937, the worst in the city's history. He directed evacuations and relief efforts and made nationwide appeals for donations and volunteers over the radio.
Due to his use of the radio during the flood crisis, Miller briefly attained some national celebrity and, after a brief stint at Princeton, served as president of the National Association of Broadcasters from 1938 to 1944, spearheading the radio industry's support of the war effort. He practiced communications law in Washington, D.C. from 1945 until his retirement in 1974.
He was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. Louisville, Kentucky
Ohio River Flood of 1937
1937 | Louisville Kentucky
In late January and February 1937, a month of heavy rain throughout the Ohio River Valley prompted what became remembered as the "Great Flood of '37". The flood submerged about 70 percent of the city and forced the evacuation of 175,000 residents. In Louisville, 90 people died. At the crest on January 27, 1937, the waters reached 30 feet (9.1 m) above flood level in Louisville. Photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White documented the flood and its aftermath in a series of famous photos. Later, flood walls were installed to prevent another such disaster.