Death: Paul Steven Miller

I’m going to copy the email I just received from Disability Rights International:

It is with great sadness, that we at Disability Rights International (DRI) mourn the death of Paul Steven Miller, a former DRI board member and a legend in the disability rights movement in the United States. Paul died at his home on October 19, 2010, following a long illness, surrounded by his family and friends.

Born with achondroplasia, a genetic condition that results in dwarfism, Paul graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986 – several years before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 – and experienced firsthand the need for such legal protections when 45 law firms rejected him during his employment search, with one member of a firm telling him the reason: Their clients would think that they were running a “circus freak show.” But despite facing such overt discrimination in his early career, Paul became an internationally acclaimed expert in discrimination and disability law and was the trusted advisor on these issues to Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, Paul was appointed White House liaison to the disability community. And in 1994, Paul was appointed a Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where he served ten years.

In 2004, Paul left the EEOC and accepted the position of professor and director of the Disability Studies Program at the University of Washington. In early 2009, Paul took a leave from the university to become Special Assistant to President Obama for managing appointments and nominations to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. Additionally, Paul served on the Obama transition team at the Department of Labor.

Paul is survived by his wife, Jenni Mechem and his two young daughters, Naomi and Delia.

Our thoughts and love go out to them as we remember the amazing Paul Steven Miller.

Paul Steven Miller’s profile on University of Washington’s School of Law website

Paul Steven Miller’s Wikipedia page

A news report about his work from 2004

By 20 October, 2010.    deaths, disability activism, history   



1 Comment

  1. Paul Miller was my professor. The first time I sat in his class I was intimidated – but he wasn’t just the most brilliant person I’ve ever met but also one of the kindest, funniest, and most passionate.

    It’s hard to compose something, we lost one of our best.