G. William Miller was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from March 8, 1978, to August 6, 1979. Before joining the Board of Governors, he was a Class B director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Miller was born in 1925 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. He graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering. He later received a law degree from the University of California’s School of Law at Berkeley.
After completing law school, Miller worked as an attorney for Cravath, Swain & Moore from 1952 to 1956. He then left the firm to join Textron Inc. He became vice president of the company in 1957 and president in 1960. He later served as the firm’s chief executive officer (1968) and chairman and CEO (1974). With his accomplishments, Miller built a reputation for himself as a capable and astute business leader, winning the respect of other members of the business community.
As chairman at the Board of Governors, Miller became known for his expansionary monetary policies. Unlike some of his predecessors, Miller was less focused on combating inflation, but rather was intent on promoting economic growth even if it resulted in inflation. Miller argued that the Federal Reserve should take measures to encourage investment instead of fight rising prices. He believed that inflation was caused by many factors beyond the Board’s control.
Miller left the Board of Governors after being appointed secretary of the Treasury, where he served until January 20, 1981. In addition to serving the Board and the Treasury, Miller held other government positions, including chairman of the US Industrial Payroll Savings Committee and chairman of Plans for Progress (President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity).
He also held officer roles in many professional and charitable organizations, including the Business Council, the United Nations Association of the USA, and the Leukemia Society.
Miller died in 2006.
Written by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See disclaimer.