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Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program

The Georgia Political Papers and Oral History Program is comprised of over 3,000 linear feet of archival collections, along with an extensive number of oral history interviews, that document the unique political culture of the state of Georgia.

Zell B. Miller

Zell B. Miller (born February 24, 1932) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Georgia. A Democrat, Miller served as Lieutenant Governor from 1975 to 1991, 79th Governor of Georgia from 1991 to 1999, and as United States Senator from 2000 to 2005. Although a member of the Democratic Party, Miller backed Republican President George W. Bush over Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election and since 2003 has frequently criticized the Democratic Party, and has publicly supported several Republican candidates. Miller did not seek election to a full term in 2004. After leaving the Senate, he joined the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, in the firm's national Government Affairs practice. Miller is also a frequent Fox News Channel contributor.; Interviewed on May 19, 1986 by Dr. Mel Steely and Ted Fitz-Simons at Young Harris, Georgia.; Lieutenant Governor Miller begins the interview by talking about his ancestors and family growing up in the mountains of Georgia. He spends a lot of time discussing his parents, his childhood, and his church. He also goes into detail about his years in Young Harris and his tenure as the town's Mayor. In the second half of the interview, Miller describes his relationship with Speaker Tom Murphy and then goes into detail about his time at the University of Georgia, including his favorite professors and his part-time jobs. He discusses his teaching tenure at Emory, saying he considers himself an educator first and a politician second. He also spends time commenting on both former and current politicians from Georgia, including Ernest Vandiver, Jimmy Carter, Carl Sanders, and Jimmy Bentley. After answering questions about fundraising and budget issues, knowing the demographics of Georgia, and partisan politics, Miller concludes the interview by talking about some of his best and worst memories about growing up in the mountains.