November 15, 2004 by

Lennox Miller


Categories: Medicine, Sports

lmiller.jpgDr. Lennox “Billy” Miller, an Olympic sprinter and dentist, died on Nov. 8 of cancer. He was 58.
The Kingston native ran track in high school and won an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he worked on the USC grounds crew to cover expenses. Miller also served as the anchor on the school’s sprint relay team. He and his teammates O.J. Simpson, Earl McCullouch and Fred Kuller set a world record in 1967 when they ran the 440-yard relay in 38.6 seconds.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Miller represented Jamaica and won the silver medal in the 100-meter dash. Four years later, he took home the bronze medal in the same event at the Munich Olympics.
Miller graduated from the USC School of Dentistry in 1973 and ran a successful practice in Pasadena, Calif., for 30 years. He is survived by his wife Avril, and their two daughters, Inger and Heather. Inger Miller captured a gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Millers were the first father and daughter to win Olympic track and field medals.
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16 Responses to Lennox Miller

  1. Ron Silver

    I grew up in the world of track and field and USC athletics. I was a fan of Lennox’s as a high school student and was in the stands at Mexico City cheering for him to beat Jimmy Hines.
    I then became the freshman manager of the track team at USC in 1969 when Lennox and Bob Seagran were co-captains. I remember Lennox from that time as a person who commanded respect by his presence, even though he was a very quiet person.
    My most personal memories of Lennox from that year were both humorous. There was another Jamaican on the team, a quarter miler named Rupert Hoilett. Unfortunately, I could never understand a word that Rupert said the whole year, and Lennox would translate for me. Also, it was a longstanding tradition to haze the freshman managers by having them practice for the managers’ relay at the USC-UCLA dual meet. Even though I had been to the last 10 USC-UCLA dual meets and could never remember seeing the event, I completely fell for the gag in large part because of Lennox keeping a straight face as he coached me on my stick passing and encouraged me to keep working out.
    Eventually Lennox became my dentist when I lived in Los Angeles from 1982-1991. He was just as conscientious at encouraging my flossing as my passing. He could not help himself and would periodically remind me of the great managers
    I will miss him. He was a great presence in our world.

  2. Virgil W Owens

    Lennox Miller was my dentist for many years in Pasadena. I trusted him to be a World Class dentist. The most notable thing about Dr. Miller was his kind and gentle way he handled his customers. Being a USC Alumni, we always had great conversations about USC.
    His dental practice continues with his wife managing the business now. Today was the first time I had some drilling type work performed by the new staff dentist. I was so comfortable with Dr. Miller’s style, I had to resist saying things to the new dentist about how Dr. Miller handled me. God Bless Mrs Miller for keeping the practice going.
    Always your loyal dental Paitent,
    Virgil W Owens
    1980 BS Industrial & Systems Engineering

  3. mike dixon

    Thanks for the memories,Lennox…as a Kingston College old boy…the memories of watching you run track..and play soccer still lingers to this day…R.I.P…LENNOX MILLER.

  4. Avril Miller

    Thank you all for the kind words about Lennox “Billy” Miller I was married to him for 36 years and have known him for 40years all your kind words describe him correctly, thank you so much Avril Miller

  5. Warren Spikes

    I first met Lennox in 1968 when I was a Freshman at USC. I came to USC from Texas where I was a high school competitor myself and a big track fan. I had seen him win the silver medal the prior summer in Mexico City and was quite excited the first time I recognized him on campus. I walked up to him and introduced myself and said I was a fan. Quite unlike I expected, he greeted me warmly and we talked about track for quite a while. I thought he was very humble and gracious for a man who had just won the Olympic Silver Medal. But he was a fierce competitor! He became a role model for me. What a great representative for his native country of Jamaica, USC, and the Human Race!

  6. Trevor Wilson

    As a big Jamaican track fan and an alumnus of Wolmer’s Boy’s School in Kingston, we always had Kingston College in our sights during competition time. Our admiration was always great for Lennox. Always the humble but fiery competitor, everyone who knew him, even only slightly, loved and respected him as I do. Thanks for the memories. We all were left breathless during your great runs in Mexico and Munich. We are breathless now.
    Thanks again.
    Trevor Wilson
    Dieppe, NB. Canada

  7. Shaggy (Arlington Ave)

    Hi Avril, I’ve tried to get in touch with you. Thank God I found your blog. So sorry about you husband. I lost my only daughter suddenly in 2004. Avril please email or call at 519 661 0798. Take care and God Bless

  8. Shaggy (Arlington Ave)

    Avril, Please email me or call collect 519 661 0798
    . Nicole (my only daughter) died on Nov 15/04.
    The same day you posted you blog. Take care

  9. Ruben Ybarra

    One summer, I think in the early 1990s, I spent the summer running at Pasadena High School after work to run miles there. I saw this man jog a bit there. After a workout, I then joined him in a jog. He was very humble. I told him I had run competitively once. He told me that he was a dentist and that he had went to USC. He just briefly mentioned that he “had done a little running” in college. As we were leaving, we introduced ourselves simply giving our first names. As that summer progressed, we continued to jog a bit and he always only talked about his daughter and how in high school she had beaten every runner in the state but for one person (who turned out to be Marion Jones). Well, I remember that when I was in high school during 1969 – 1971 that Channel 5 used to telecast track meets showing USC and UCLA. I remember Lennox Miller running in those meets. All of a sudden, I wondered if that man was Lennox Miller that I had been so impressed with when I was in high school. I couldn’t wait to see him the next time at the Pasadena High track and when I did, I asked him, “Is your last name, Miller?” He then told me that he was and I told him about watching him on TV in my younger days. He was so humble. Again, he just talked about his daughter, Ingrid.
    Sadly, I remember that day on November 2004 when I was walking to the Rite Aid in South Pasadena and a big article in the Pasadena
    Star News caught my eye. And next to that article, was a headline that mentioned Lennox Miller passing away. I was so sad to read that.
    That summer he never mentioned to me any of his athletic accomplishments. He just wanted to tell me how great his daughter was and I knew he was proud of her.

  10. Karl Davidson

    Thanks for making me proud to be a Jamaican. My older brothers were Lenox’s High School mates at Kingston College. Winty (who play football for KC) and Donald Clive Davidson. I love track and field and viewed all of Lenox’s Olympic races. I was also very impressed with Ingrid’ performances on the track. God Bless to his suviving family.
    Karl Davidson

  11. Karl Davidson

    Thanks for making me proud to be a Jamaican. My older brothers were Lenox’s High School mates at Kingston College. Winty (who play football for KC) and Donald Clive Davidson. I love track and field and viewed all of Lenox’s Olympic races. I was also very impressed with Ingrid’ performances on the track. God Bless to his suviving family.
    Karl Davidson

  12. Tony Chin

    I went to Kingston College 1964 – 68. The headmaster then was MR. Douglas Forrest who always said, ” It is the student that makes the school and not the school that makes the student”. Lennox, was one of those he was talking about.I will forever remember him for the standards he has set for us (Purples), to be the best, fiercely competitive yet humble.You are still the greatest sprinter we have ever produced,your record proves that.I remember a note from an article on world class sprinters that said, Lennox Miller is probably the only man on this planet that needs only two weeks to prepare for a world class event and be ready. Thanks for the tradition and inspiration that you have provided.
    Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Protest

  13. rainford martin


  14. Maurice Stewart

    Hello Avril:
    Greetings from Toronto, Canada. I have fond memories of “Billy” when he ran for KC along with guys like Rupert Hoilette (Rupi), Tony Keyes, Jimmy Grant, Denis Johnson etc. I attended Excelsior High School during the 1960’s!
    May he rest in peace.

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