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.
Related GalleryLarry H. Miller Auto Museum
[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.