Saying goodbye to Zell Miller

Zell Miller

There’s been a lot of talk about Zell Miller’s death. It’s sad to know that he battled so long with Parkinson’s Disease. Atlanta residents are understandably saddened. Here’s a collection of excerpts and links to info about his death and funeral:

State funeral planned at Georgia Capitol for Zell Miller
A state funeral is planned Wednesday at the Georgia Capitol for Zell Miller, a former U.S. senator and two-term Georgia governor.

Miller died Friday in his old family home in the north Georgia mountain town of Young Harris. He was 86.

He served his terms as Georgia governor from 1991 until 1999 and was appointed to the Senate in 2000.

Miller was honored Monday at a service in Young Harris, where he was remembered for a long political career that began at city hall.

Three former presidents — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — spoke at a service Tuesday at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Atlanta.

After Wednesday’s service, Miller’s body will be taken to a funeral home in Cumming, Georgia, north of Atlanta.

Zell Miller eulogized by 3 ex-presidents
The Latest on former Sen. Zell Miller’s funeral (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

The motorcade carrying former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller’s flag-draped casket has arrived at the Georgia Capitol where he will lie in state until a state funeral Wednesday.

Republican and Democratic state lawmakers lined up in front of the Capitol to pay tribute as the casket arrived. Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife led the procession into the building as bagpipes played.

Miller was eulogized at an Atlanta church earlier Tuesday by three former presidents: Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. All three counted Miller as a personal friend.

Miller served as governor from 1991 to 1999 and a U.S. senator from 2000 to 2005. He is an iconic figure in Georgia politics as author of the education lottery that finances HOPE college scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs in public schools.

He died Friday at his north Georgia home at the age of 86.


1 p.m.

The Atlanta funeral for former Georgia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller has ended after he was eulogized by three former presidents.

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all counted the Georgia Democrat as a personal friend.

A motorcade will carry Miller’s remains from Peachtree Road United Methodist Church to the Georgia Capitol. Miller will lie in state until his state funeral Wednesday.


12:25 p.m.

Former President Bill Clinton says he lives “almost in indentured servitude” to Zell and Shirley Miller for the political help and personal support they offered him and Hillary Clinton over many decades.

Clinton is eulogizing the former Georgia Gov. and U.S. senator Zell Miller. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush also spoke at the funeral Tuesday.

Miller supported Clinton, then-Arkansas governor, when he ran for president in 1992. Clinton said Miller told him in 1991 to “hire James Carville and Paul Begala and give shorter speeches.” Clinton says he “took 50 percent of the advice.”

Carville and Begala had helped Miller win the 1990 governor’s race and served as Clinton’s main advisers in 1992.


12:10 p.m.

Ex-President Jimmy Carter says former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller did more to help schoolchildren than perhaps any governor in American history.

Carter is eulogizing Miller on Tuesday at an Atlanta church alongside two other former presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Miller counted all three as personal friends. The former governor and U.S. senator died Friday.

Carter jokes that he and Miller were friends “off and on” for 55 years.

The two Democrats served as young state senators together in the 1960s.

Carter was later among the Democrats unhappy with Miller when he endorsed Bush’s re-election in 2004.


12 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush is praising Zell Miller as a bipartisan statesman who offered an example for American politicians today.

Miller was a Democrat but endorsed the Republican Bush’s re-election in 2004.

The former Georgia governor and U.S. senator died Friday in his native north Georgia mountains. Bush and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are eulogizing Miller at Atlanta church Tuesday.

Bush says Miller was a key Democratic senator for him to work with after he became president in 2001.

He laughed as he recalled Miller’s offer to back him in 2004 and speak at the Republican convention. It angered many Democrats, but Bush hailed Miller as a loyal American who was “not an ideologue.”


11:40 a.m.

Zell Miller’s grandson is recalling his grandfather as a “teacher at heart” even amid all his public success in politics.

Bryan Miller says his grandfather taught him many lessons learned from his Appalachian childhood through his years as Georgia governor and U.S. senator.

The younger Miller says his grandfather urged family members to have a sense of place. Zell Miller said his rooting in the north Georgia mountains kept him “from getting the big head” when he served as governor from 1991 to 1999.

Zell Miller was born in those mountains during the early Great Depression and died there Friday at the age of 86.

The younger Miller is eulogizing his grandfather Tuesday ahead of three former presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.


11 a.m.

A funeral for former Georgia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller is beginning with three former presidents seated on the front pew.

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all will eulogize Miller on Tuesday at a church in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.

Miller died Friday at the age of 86. He was a lifelong Democrat and architect of Georgia’s HOPE college scholarship program.

Carter and Miller once served together as state senators. Miller nominated his longtime friend Clinton at Democrats’ 1992 convention. As a senator, he bucked his party to back the Republican Bush’s 2004 re-election.

After the funeral, a motorcade will transport Miller’s remains to the Georgia Capitol. He will lie in state until a state funeral Wednesday.


1:45 a.m.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will share a pulpit as they eulogize former Georgia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Zell Miller at an Atlanta church.

The funeral Tuesday at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church is the second of three public services for Miller, who died Friday at the age of 86.

Miller was a lifelong Democrat but is the only American to have delivered the keynote address at a Democratic and Republican national convention. He did it for Clinton in 1992 and Bush in 2004.

Miller was celebrated Monday in his hometown of Young Harris in the north Georgia mountains where he was born and where he died.

After Tuesday’s service, he will lie in state at the Georgia Capitol until a state funeral Wednesday.

Former Georgia governor and senator Zell Miller dead at 86, family says
Zell Miller, the former Georgia governor and U.S. senator, has died following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease, his family said Friday. He was 86.

A lifelong Southern Democrat, Miller famously famously spoke at the 2004 GOP convention as a Democrat in support of former President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

A decade earlier, Miller had been the keynote speaker at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, endorsing then Arkansas Democratic Gov. Bill Clinton for president.

“The people of Georgia have lose one of our state’s finest public servants,” grandson Bryan Miller said in a statement.

He said Miller “passed away peacefully at his home with family by his side.”

Miller was the 79th governor of Georgia, serving from 1991 through 1999. He represented the state of Georgia in the U.S. Senate from 2000 to 2005.

Miller’s political career began in 1959, when he served as mayor of Young Harris, moving on to become a Georgia state senator from 1961 to 1965. He then served as Georgia’s lieutenant governor from 1975 to 1991, making him the longest serving lieutenant governor in Georgia’s history.

Later in life, Miller was a Fox News contributor.

As governor, Miller created the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarship, and Georgia’s voluntary pre-kindergarten program. According to the Miller Institute Foundation, more than 1.8 million students have gone to college in Georgia on HOPE scholarships, and more than 1.6 million four-year olds have begun their education through the pre-K program.

“These were his proudest achievements in his 46-year career in public service,” the foundation said in a statement Friday.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Joe Marquette

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