John E. Miller was a longtime professor of history at South Dakota State University, where he began teaching in 1973. He was the winner of numerous scholarly awards over that time, including the South Dakota Board of Regents Research Award in 2000, and the Herbert Schell Governor's Award for History in 2001. Miller was also the author of many articles on South Dakota history in scholarly journals, as well as in popular publications such as South Dakota History and South Dakota Heritage. He was co-author of the article on South Dakota in World Book Encyclopedia, and author of several books, including Looking for History of Highway 14; South Dakota: A Journey Through Time; Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town: Where History and Literature Meet; and Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend. His latest book was Democracy’s Troubles: Twelve Threats to the American Ideal and How we Can Overcome Them.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Miller received a B.A. in history from the University of Missouri and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He lived with his wife, Kathy Miller, in Brookings. Miller passed away on May 1, 2020.