Merle Miller

Merle Miller was a long-time Brewster resident who had a successful career as a journalist, editor, novelist, screenwriter but above all as a presidential biographer. He was born May 17, 1919 in Montour, Iowa. He studied at the University of Iowa and the London School of Economics. He was an editor at Time and Harper’s magazines. But he achieved his most spectacular success as a presidential biographer. He had interviewed former President Harry S. Truman during 1961-62 for a television documentary. He crafted a biography from these conversations which was titled Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman. He followed this book with biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower but they did not approach the success of the Truman book. He was a lover of books and reading from the age of seven when a Carnegie librarian introduced him to the library. In his obituary in the News-Times it was noted that he had spent a great deal of time in presidential libraries but he also said he spent the most time in his “favorite library-the one in Danbury.”

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