Paul Miller | Champion of disabled, 49

Posted: October 22, 2010

Paul Miller, 49, a lawyer who was born with achondroplasia - dwarfism - who overcame discrimination to become a leader in the disability-rights movement, died Tuesday at his home on Mercer Island, Wash.

The cause was cancer, said his wife, Jennifer.

More than 40 times after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Law School, Mr. Miller received rejection letters from law firms. One time, he said, he was told the firm feared that clients would see his hiring as a "circus freak show."

But he went on to become an adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, a law professor, and an expert on the intersection of disability law, employment discrimination, and genetic science.

A professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, he directed the university's disabilities-studies program. For 10 years before joining the faculty in 2004, he was a commissioner of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

- N.Y. Times News Service

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