Frederick A. Miller · 1966

F.A. Miller was born January 31, 1868 the son of Alfred B. and Esther A. (Tarbell) Miller on the same property as his father was born. He became the third generation in the newspaper business.

He graduated from South Bend High School in May, 1887 where he served as president of the class. It was then at age 19 that he became a member of the reportorial staff of The South Bend Tribune.

Miller started his career when he was young, learning to set type as a boy and carrying a route for The Tribune at age 12 in 1880 where he made 13 cents profit the first day.
At his father’s death on December 10, 1892, he became the majority stockholder of The Tribune. Miller became president and editor in 1924 when Elmer Crockett died. Crockett and Miller’s father co-founded The Tribune.

Miller’s main interest in newspapering was the editorial policies and he had little or no interest in the other necessary areas of the business. No detail was too small for him not to notice. Accuracy was the theme of his daily instructions to the staff and had the motto “Be Accurate” painted on the wall of the newsroom. He believed that a newspaper should be an example of correct English and that people could not only benefit from its information but also its good grammar.

Miller was a non-smoker and banned smoking at The Tribune, but did not object to other forms of tobacco use. He also objected to alcohol use and banned all forms of its advertising in The Tribune and WSBT and WSBT-TV, radio and televisions stations owned by The Tribune.

While publisher of The Tribune, he became one of the charter members of the Associated Press in 1900 when it was founded.

Miller did not fear competition and The Tribune became one of the first newspapers in 1921 to own and operate a radio station.

He worked for the advancement of South Bend and its sister city, Mishawaka. He was an influential figure in politics, but would not run for office or permit any of his editorial staff people to run, less they be influenced adversely. In 1945 he was offered the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator, but he declined.

F.A. Miller never attended college, which he resented, but felt that he benefited from five years of training under his father in the newspaper business.

He married Flora Dunn June 8, 1892. He received honorary degrees from Notre Dame and Indiana University. Annually on his birthday he would have an open house and greeted his over 300 employees with birthday cake.

He built The Tribune to the third largest Indiana paper at the time with a circulation of 110,000. He fought issues such as the Klu Klux Klan in 1924 with many articles that showed his courage and independence.


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