By Greg Oliver: Talk about being in your big brothers’ shadows, real or not. Danny Miller, who died [yesterday] at the age of 84 after many health challenges, was forever dwarfed by Dr. Bill Miller, his elder brother by five years, and by Ed Miller (Ed Albers), a fictional brother.
“[I was] six-foot, 200 pounds when I started,” Danny Miller said in 2004. “They were about 6′ 6″, 6′ 5″, and 275, 300 pounds.”
Yet he too carved out an excellent in-ring career, wrestling for 22 years and then promoting the sport for another 14 years.
The story for both legitimate Millers begins on a farm in Fremont, Ohio. (Albers was from California.) The farm had horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, and the five boys and two girls in the family had to all pitch in and help.
Bill was an incredible athlete, and excelled at Ohio State University in amateur wrestling, football and track and field, claiming nine letters. He also studied veterinary medicine and the “doctor” title that he was often announced with in pro wrestling was legit. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot.
In 1950, Bill Miller turned to pro wrestling under Columbus, Ohio, promoter Al Haft and quickly found success. “[Al Haft] took an interest in Bill when he was still in school,” said Danny Miller. “Bill had used his eligibility up, because he had a six-year course. So Al Haft turned him onto pro wrestling while he was still going to school.” The next year, he teamed with Albers in California, who happened to look a lot like Bill Miller.
Read the rest of Greg Oliver’s tribute here.
Photo by Dave Burzynski.