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Miller, Merle (1919-1986)  
page: 1  2  3  4  5  

Miller also wrote the influential and best-selling Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974), which began as a series of filmed interviews with the former president for a proposed television series that was never made. Although the book has been attacked for containing allegedly fabricated passages, it nevertheless offers a compelling portrait of President Truman.

Miller wrote two other best-selling presidential biographies, Lyndon (1980), an oral biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ike the Soldier (1987), a biography of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was published posthumously.

His other works of nonfiction include We Dropped the A-Bomb (1946), written in collaboration with Abe Spitzer, a radio operator on the B-29 bomber "The Great Artiste," the only aircraft to participate in the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.

In addition to numerous television scripts, Miller wrote the screenplays for the feature films The Rains of Ranchipur (1955), directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Lana Turner and Richard Burton, and Kings Go Forth (1958), directed by Delmer Daves, with Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood.

Miller died on June 10, 1986, in Danbury Hospital, Connecticut, at the age of 67, from peritonitis following surgery to remove a ruptured appendix.

He was survived by his partner of 22 years, writer David W. Elliott, and his ashes were interred near the home they shared in Brewster, New York.

Craig Kaczorowski

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literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969

Although largely invisible to the general public, a large body of twentieth-century gay male literature by American authors was published prior to Stonewall, some of it positive but most of it tinged with misery or bleakness as the price of being published and disseminated.

literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, gay male literature became focused as a movement, aided by the development of gay newspapers, magazines, and quarterlies and the founding of serious gay and lesbian bookstores.

literature >> Overview:  Autobiography, Gay Male

In its first century of existence, gay male autobiography has become increasingly more open, frank, and unapologetic.

social sciences >> Overview:  The Closet

If the closet has served to institutionalize homosexuality as shameful and inferior vis-à-vis the legitimate heterosexual culture, it has also provided a space of possibility for subversive sexual and political acts.

social sciences >> Overview:  Gay Rights Movement, U. S.

The U.S. gay rights movement has made significant progress toward achieving equality for glbtq Americans, and in the process has become more inclusive and diverse, but much remains to be done.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

social sciences >> Overview:  McCarthyism

McCarthyism, which attempted in the late 1940s and early 1950s to expunge Communists and fellow travelers from American public life, made homosexuals the chief scapegoats of the Cold War.

literature >> Overview:  Novel: Gay Male

Since World War II, the gay male novel has progressively flourished in England and especially in America.

social sciences >> Gay Activists Alliance

An important organization of the early post-Stonewall era, the Gay Activists Alliance, which flourished from 1969 to 1974, strove to give gay men and lesbians visibility in American politics.

social sciences >> Gay Liberation Front

Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.

social sciences >> National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

The oldest continuously operating national glbtq interest group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has played a significant role in the development of the glbtq movement for equal rights.

social sciences >> Stonewall Riots

The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.

literature >> Vidal, Gore

The multifaceted Gore Vidal is important in the gay literary heritage because of the straightforwardness with which he pursued gay themes and included gay characters in his work.


Ehrenstein, David. "Sexual Snobbery: The Texture of Joseph Epstein." L.A. Weekly (August 30 – September 5, 2002):

Greenhouse, Emily. "Merle Miller and the Piece That Launched a Thousand 'It Gets Better' Videos." The New Yorker (October 11, 2012):

Kaiser, Charles. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. New York: Grove Press, 2007. 226-228.

Morton, Paul. "The March of Progress Is Never Neat: Merle Miller's On Being Different." The Millions (November 15, 2012):

Promiscuous Reader. "The Ugly Duckling; or, Memoirs of a Survivor." This Is So Gay (July 11, 2007):


    Citation Information
    Author: Kaczorowski, Craig  
    Entry Title: Miller, Merle  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2013  
    Date Last Updated May 10, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2013 glbtq, Inc.  


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