By many counts, Larry Miller is among today’s most successful Black businessmen in America.
He is the chairman of Nike’s Jordan Brand, supposedly the sneaker giant’s most successful brand, that posted more than $4.7 billion in revenue in 2021.
Before that, Miller was the former president of the Portland Trailblazers and previously an executive at Kraft Foods and Campbell Soups. However, this past October, he told Sports Illustrated that when he was only 16, he killed another teenager in 1965 in West Philadelphia. For decades, he kept the incident secret and served prison time for the murder.
In his new book, Jump: My Secret Journey From The Streets to the Boardroom, expected to be released this month, Miller offers a stunning look at how his gangland past caused him to lose his first big job, based on a review. He reflects on involving himself in educational opportunities, benefitting from a Pennsylvania education-release program, and graduating from Temple University with honors.
According to Sports Illustrated, Miller guarded his secret for over 50 years. He hid it from the likes of NBA legend Michael Jordan, Nike founder Phil Knight, and NBA executives. He reportedly, for decades, did not reveal it to friends and his children, worried the truth would demolish him. But now Miller is confessing it all in his upcoming book, co-written with his oldest daughter, Laila Lacy.
“No one knew that I was carrying the secret around, and the ability to share the story and really get it out has definitely freed me a lot,” Miller has stated publicly.
Since he made the revelation, Miller has received support from others. “Miller’s story is an example of the human spirit’s resilience, perseverance, and strength,” according to CEO John Donahoe, per en Volve.
In the review, it states Miller’s book “is a passionate appeal for criminal justice reform and expanded educational opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people across the United States.”
It adds Miller hopes the book helps boost such opportunities and inspires those who need hope.