Rarely is the writer more interesting than the person he's writing about. Harold Guest "Hack" Miller, who died last week at 83, was truly one of life's more colorful characters.
He was and is an institution at the Deseret News, where he worked for 50 years.Noted for his daily columns, which he produced for 44 years, Miller displayed a breadth of journalistic talent not seen often, if at all, today.
As longtime Deseret News sports editor, he covered six Olympic Games, the World Series, football's top bowl games and major golf tournaments. A dedicated outdoorsman, he was known nationally as the "dean of ski writers." Yet he was equally adept in other fields, making two trips to Vietnam as a war correspondent, covering a 15-nation trip by the Utah symphony and President Richard M. Nixon's inauguration.
He was well-prepared to cover sports, lettering in four sports at Granite High School - football, basketball, baseball and track. He also played golf and tennis, but letters weren't given in those sports in those days. His sports career continued at the University of Utah where he played football and basketball, being team captain and earning all-conference honors in basketball.
Miller combined his athletic career at the U. with sportswriting at the Deseret News, actually covering some of the games he played in when he first joined the News in 1934.
Then there was the time Miller became the story instead of the one he was covering. An avid golfer, Miller participated in a celebrity golf tournament in Reno in 1970 to report on the tourney and to interview Willie Mays, one of his playing partners. He made a hole-in-one and won a new Ferrari. Miller took cash instead of the fast car and used it to help put his four sons through school.
His lengthy and adventurous tour of duty at the Deseret News was interrupted by tours in the armed forces - he served as commander of the Port of Embarkation in England in World War II - and for the LDS Church, where he served a mission with his wife, Barbara, at the New York City Visitors Center.
For all of the above and much more he will be missed. This is a time when many who knew him will fondly go about doing what the title of a book he wrote for the Deseret News suggests, "Looking Back With Hack."
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