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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MILLER, RUTH RATNER - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

MILLER, RUTH RATNER (1 Dec. 1925 - 26 November 1996) was a civic leader, businesswoman, and philanthropist who was responsible for the rebuilding and renovation of TOWER CITY CENTER in the mid-1980s. Born in Cleveland to Lillian (Bernstein) and LEONARD RATNER†, she earned a B.S. from Western Reserve University in 1969, and a Ph.D. from CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY in 1972.

During the 1970s, Mrs. Miller was Director of Public Health and Welfare and Community Development for Mayor RALPH J. PERK, and of the RAPID RECOVERY PROGRAM aimed at cleaning up RTA right-of-ways. She was a Republican candidate for the 22nd Congressional District of Ohio in 1980, and was also a news analyst for WBBG-AM radio. In 1981, she was responsible for relighting TERMINAL TOWER, Cleveland's symbol of rebirth. Mrs. Miller was instrumental in converting the former HALLE BROTHERS CO. downtown department store into an office building, and in renovating the Terminal Tower's lower levels into a glamorous shopping center, Tower City Center, of which she was president from 1982 until her death. Her numerous community activities included chairing the CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OF GREATER CLEVELAND, INC. and the Public Square Preservation and Maintenance Committee; serving as Trustee for UNIVERSITY CIRCLE, INC. (UCI), the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM, the NEW CLEVELAND CAMPAIGN, and CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY; and acting on the board of directors of the GREATER CLEVELAND GROWTH ASSN., the CLEVELAND BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Mrs. Miller also lectured at both Cleveland State and Case Western Reserve universities, and was appointed by Gov. George Voinovich as a member of the Managing for the Future Task Force of Higher Education.

Carrying on her family's tradition of strong support for Israel and Jewish affairs, Mrs. Miller was on the executive committee of the National Jewish Coalition and of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and was twice-appointed to the Holocaust Memorial Council, by Presidents Reagan and Bush. Also an advocate for women, Mrs. Miller was on the advisory board of Women Equity Affiliate Limited, was a member of The Women's International Forum, and in 1985 was appointed to the U. S. Delegation to the United Nations World Conference on the Decade of Women, held in Nairobi, Kenya. Honored both locally and internationally for her many achievements and contributions, Mrs. Miller received, numerous awards, including the Human Relations Award of the American Jewish Committee, the Woman-of-the-Year Award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the David Ben Gurion Award from the State of Israel Bonds, and the Distinguished Community Service Award from Brandeis University. She was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame and was selected by CLEVELAND MAGAZINE as one of Cleveland's 100 Most Influential Women.

At the age of twenty she married Samuel H. Miller and they had four children: Aaron, Richard, Gabrielle, and Abraham. The couple divorced in 1982, but Mrs. Miller retained her former husband's name. In 1985, she married Rabbi Phillip Horowitz, father of three children and rabbi of the former Temple B'rith Emeth. Mrs. Miller died at Cleveland Clinic Hospital.

Last Modified: 23 Oct 2009 01:54:24 PM

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