The state of Alaska’s third governor dies at 94

Keith Harvey Miller died Saturday in Anchorage

Gov. Keith Miller, sits on the edge of a desk with his hand on two books in his formal portrait. (Courtesy Photo | Alaska State Library Historical Collections, ASL-Miller-Keith-01)

Gov. Keith Miller, sits on the edge of a desk with his hand on two books in his formal portrait. (Courtesy Photo | Alaska State Library Historical Collections, ASL-Miller-Keith-01)

The state of Alaska’s third governor has died.

Keith Miller, born March 1, 1925, was governor from Jan. 29, 1969-Dec.7, 1970. He passed away March 2, 2019, at the age of 94 in the Marietta House, an assisted living home in Anchorage.

“Keith was an honorable man, who was well-respected by all the people who knew him,” Miller’s step-daughter Carol Slater said when reached by phone Wednesday afternoon. “I have been so impressed by the comments from people who knew Keith. He lived a quiet life and loved Alaska.”

In addition to holding the state’s highest office, Miller also served as Secretary of State of Alaska — a position that later became lieutenant governor — for more than two years. He became governor of Alaska after ex-Gov. Walter Hickel resigned to become Secretary of the Interior under President Richard Nixon.

Miller ran for a full term as governor in 1970, but he was defeated by the state’s first governor, William A. Egan.

In 1972, Miller won a four-year term in the State Senate, and in 1977 he was appointed by Gov. Jay Hammond to a seat on the Alaska Transportation Commission. He served on the commission for eight years.

During Miller’s time as governor, he oversaw Prudhoe Bay oil and gas lease sale, which brought in more than $900 million to Alaska and proposed a state investment fund for oil royalties, which Hammond later turned into the Permanent Fund.

There are no public services planned. Remembrances can be sent to Miller’s step-daughter Carol Slater, 1143 Bainbridge Blvd., Fairbanks, AK, 99701.

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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