• 18
On Saturday, February 20, entrepreneur and philanthropist Larry H. Miller passed away from complications due to type 2 diabetes at the age of 64. Miller owned the Utah Jazz, numerous car dealerships, movie theaters, and commercial real estate, but in the automotive industry he was most known for building the Miller Motorsports Park that opened in 2006. The track, located in Tooele, UT, quickly garnered a reputation as being one of the premier venues in the country and hosted ALMS, Grand-Am, NASCAR, and AMA Superbike races. We were fortunate enough to sample part of the racetrack when we tested the Shelby GT500KR last year, and we very much enjoyed his incredible car museum as well. In addition to his business ventures, Miller was well known for his generosity. He and his wife provided close to 300 college scholarships every year and donated millions of dollars to local colleges and universities. Learn more about Larry Miller's life and accomplishments after the jump.

[Source: Miller Motorsports Park]

SALT LAKE CITY (February 20, 2009) - Larry H. Miller, husband, father, grandfather, a well-known entrepreneur, community advocate and humanitarian, died from complications due to type 2 diabetes today, at home, surrounded by his family. He was 64.

Miller, a man who truly loved Utah, its people and its land, was born in Salt Lake City in 1944. From modest beginnings, he grew up in the Capitol Hill area and went on to become one of Utah's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Leaving behind a profound professional and personal legacy, the entities Miller created have had a significant and lasting impact on the communities in which he did business, and the more than 7,000 individuals he employed.

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies began with the Larry H. Miller Toyota store in Murray, Utah on May 1, 1979. Through the years, Miller amassed more than 80 businesses and properties in the western United States. Most notable are the Utah Jazz, EnergySolutions Arena, the Salt Lake Bees, Miller Motorsports Park, Megaplex Theatres, and 39 automobile dealerships spanning the Rocky Mountain West. Miller also developed vast real estate holdings including commercial and agricultural properties.

A dynamic entrepreneur and business leader, Miller also became known for his charitable efforts. Miller coined the phrase "Go about doing good until there is too much good in the world."

Miller and his wife Gail provide close to 300 college scholarships each year. Larry H. Miller Charities, a foundation funded by monthly contributions from his businesses, fundraising events in the community, and personal donations from employees, has donated millions of dollars to communities in which Miller does business.

"Larry and Gail have always stressed the importance of giving back to the communities in which we do business. Our customers have supported us and it is important that we show our appreciation by helping those in need," said Greg Miller, eldest son and CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. "Larry felt that his legacy isn't in business as much as it was in creating opportunities for good jobs and higher education."

Larry and Gail have also donated millions of dollars to Utah-based colleges and universities for campus improvements such as the state-of-the-art softball and baseball complexes at BYU. The Larry H. Miller Campus of the Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) was completed in fall 2001 and includes the Larry H. Miller Entrepreneurship Training Center and The Larry and Gail Miller Public Safety Education & Training Center.

Despite all of his success, Miller always maintained that his greatest accomplishment is the family that survives him: his wife, Karen Gail Saxton Miller, their four sons and one daughter, 21 grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced shortly.

For more information on Miller Motorsports Park, call the track at (435) 277-RACE (7223) or visit the website at www.millermotorsportspark.com.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      How very sad; this just points out how serious diabetes is. I hope that there will be a Miller Foundation to provide many more college scholarships, and that the operations he started, like the racetrack, will continue to prosper in the future. Prayers for his family.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My heart goes out to his family. 64 is really not that old.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just wondering how his sweetheart Karen got through the loss of her husband. Sometimes we forget about those left behind. My husband is dying from cancer right now and its the hardest thing I've ever done. My heart goes out to those in the Miller family who had to endure the same.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, what a great life, what a great man. This is sad news.

      Every time a real motorsports enthusiasts dies, a little of me dies with them. I think the apporpriate thing to do (seriously) is to have a testimonial race at Miller Motorsports Park in honour of him. He would be proud.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Rest in peace good sir.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Larry was my boss, and a good guy. It's entirely appropriate that he be remembered here, because before he was a car dealer, before he was a basketball team owner, before he was a philanthropist, before he was almost anything else, he was a car guy. And more specifically, a Ford guy. He loved cars, and he loved racing, and he gave us an incredible facility to enjoy. He's gone way too soon, and leaves a void that won't be filled.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Rest in peace
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sad to hear the loss of a very generous man. Rest in peace.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was disappointed to hear this. His legs were amputated a few weeks ago and he'd been sick in a wheel chair for several months prior.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was mostly familiar of Larry Miller through his ownership of the Utah Jazz, as I'm sure most outside of the northeast are.

      I'd heard of Miller's reputation for being 'cheap' before, which sort of contradicts my observation of him being one of the better owners in all of professional sports. Perhaps his cheapness led him to keep coach Jerry Sloan for so long, but it you can't call it stupid. The Jazz has still kept up as a regular playoff contender even after the retirements of legends like Karl Malone and John Stockton.

      If there's any hope that the Oklahoma City Thunder will be anything more than a perennial doormat where careers go to die, it's the success of the NBA in Salt Lake City, thanks to Miller.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I used to live close to him. Regardless of how he was in business (or not), he was always nice and polite, inviting more people over to his house than need be for neighborhood functions. I'm sad to hear of his passing and have his family in my thoughts. He was a very nice individual and I am happy that at the very least he is no longer suffering.

    • Load More Comments