Item SR1175_T07S1 - Oral history interview with Fred D. Miller [Sound Recording 11]

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Oral history interview with Fred D. Miller [Sound Recording 11]


  • 1994-02-15 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:30:20

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Fred D. Miller was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1942. His family came to Portland, Oregon, when he was six months old. He attended Willamette University for one year, then Portland State University, graduating in 1964. He then pursued his doctorate at Michigan State University, where he studied economic development. He completed his dissertation in 1967 and took a teaching job at Oregon State University in order to avoid the draft. While teaching at OSU, he met his first wife, Janet, and they were married soon after. He began his involvement in Oregon politics as special assistant to the director of the Oregon Department of Transportation in 1973. He then became the director of the Oregon Department of Energy in 1976. He returned to the Department of Transportation as its assistant director in 1979, then served as director from 1982 to 1987. He later became an executive at Portland General Electric. He married Karla Wenzel around 1990. Most recently, he was chief administrative officer of the city of Portland.

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Tape 7, Side 1. This oral history interview with Fred D. Miller was conducted by Pat Collmeyer at the Portland General Electric offices in the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon, from October 12, 1993, to June 7, 1994. Miller discusses his family background and early life in Southwest Portland. He also discusses his experiences at Willamette University, Portland State University, and Michigan State University, including studying abroad in Argentina. He talks about becoming a professor at Oregon State University in 1967 in order to get a deferment from the draft, and about teaching abroad in Peru and with World Campus Afloat. Miller discusses his involvement with the Oregon State Legislature as special assistant to the director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, and talks about the Mount Hood Freeway. He also talks about working with George Baldwin, Glenn Jackson, and Bob Burco. He then describes his time as director of the Oregon Department of Energy from 1976 to 1979, replacing Lon Topaz, and discusses nuclear power plants and electrical utilities. He also talks about working with Janet McLennan and Mike Katz. Miller discusses his time as assistant director, then director, of the Oregon Department of Transportation, from 1979 to 1987, including funding and gas taxes. Miller also discusses working under governors Tom McCall, Bob Straub, Vic Atiyeh, Neil Goldschmidt, and Barbara Roberts. In addition, he talks about Corrections Director Michael Francke and his murder in 1989. Miller closes the interview by discussing the various management styles of the many governors he served under.

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Copyright is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA:

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  • eng

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41.7 MiB


November 18, 2019 10:05 AM

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