Editor's Note: The San Diego District Attorney's Office released the following obituary on March 4, 2013.
Edwin L. Miller, Jr., who served as San Diego County District Attorney for 24 years, passed away on Sunday at the age of 87. Miller came to the District Attorney’s Office after a career of public service. He was a San Diego Deputy City Attorney, rising to become the Assistant City Attorney. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as the first United States Attorney for the newly-formed Southern District of California. After service as U.S. Attorney, Miller entered private practice as a partner. A year later, he ran for District Attorney.
Miller served the public as San Diego County District Attorney from 1971 to 1995. He was President of the California District Attorneys Association and the National District Attorneys Association, and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the President’s Organized Crime Commission. Using the measures commonly used to evaluate District Attorneys—conviction rate, number of felons sent to state prison, number of murderers sent to death row, assets seized from drug—Miller consistently received praise from his prosecutorial peers nationwide.
Among his accomplishments, District Attorney Miller:
- Took a small economic crime unit and built a major Fraud Division.
- Established the first Anti-Trust unit in any local prosecutor’s office in the country.
- Invented the now nationally copied Cross-Designation Program.
- Built a career-oriented prosecutorial office where seasoned Deputy DA’s were given the challenges, respect and salary that led them to stay.
- Created a professional Bureau of Investigation.
Current San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis notified the employees of the DA’s Office Monday morning of Mr. Miller’s passing. Dumanis was hired by Miller and served under him for 15 years.
“Mr. Miller's legacy on our office is profound. He was an acclaimed prosecutor, dedicated public servant, and generous boss. Ed Miller was a close friend and mentor to many of us in the District Attorney’s Office for years. It's at moments like this one that we are reminded more than ever that we are a family at the DA’s Office. This morning, our family who has lost one of its most beloved and admired patriarchs,” Dumanis said.
Memorial and funeral services are pending.