A long time business executive of Nike.Inc and chairman of the Jordon brand, Larry Miller in an October 2021 exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated admitted that he shot and killed a teenage boy in the streets of West Philadelphia 56 years ago, 1965.
"It was eating me up inside," he said of his actions at age 16, when he was "a straight-up gangbanger".
Because for years, I ran from this," Miller said. "I tried to hide this and hope that people didn’t find out about it."
Miller served a jail sentence for the murder. He says he did not lie about it, but he did keep it a secret- even from members of his inner circle, including basketball legend Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Miller was in and out of prison up until he was 30. But he continued his study for an accounting degree at Temple University while behind bars and received a degree around the time he was released.
His forthcoming book "Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom" - written in collaboration with his oldest daughter - will detail the incident, as well as his multiple restraints in juvenile detention and prison over a variety of offences.
Mr Miller has been at Nike since 1997 and manages the daily operations of Nike Basketball, the Jordan Brand and Converse.
He is also a former executive at Kraft Foods and Campbell Soups, and an ex-president of the Portland Trail Blazers professional basketball team.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Miller said he grew up in a stable family, but things began to spiral when he turned 13, and he joined the Cedar Avenue gang in West Philadelphia. He said he was a "straight-up gangbanger" by 16.
On Sept. 30, 1965, Miller said he shot 18-year-old Edward White. The shooting was in retaliation for one of Miller’s fellow gang members getting killed by a rival gang. Yet Miller admitted he wasn’t even sure whether White was affiliated with the rival gang – or any gang for that matter. Miller said he merely shot the first person he saw and only learned of White’s name after hearing of his death on news reports.
"We were all drunk," Miller told Sports Illustrated. "I was in a haze. Once it kind of set in, I was like, ‘Oh, sh-t, what have I done?’ It took years for me to understand the real impact of what I had done."
Miller wishes to drive at-risk youth away from a life of violence and encourage formerly detained people to know they are still worthy of contribution to society.
"A person's mistake, or the worst mistake that they made in their life, shouldn't control what happens with the rest of your life," he said.