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Steven Muller

Steven Muller

Steven Muller (November 22, 1927 – January 19, 2013) was the president of the Johns Hopkins University, serving from 1972 to 1990. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Marianne (née Hartstein) and Werner A. Muller. His father was Jewish, and, as the Nazis rose to power in Germany, the family suffered increasing persecution. During Kristallnacht in 1938, his father was arrested by the Nazis. Thanks to influential friends, he was released after a short time, but this experience convinced him that he and his family had to leave Germany. His father left first, followed by the rest of the family shortly before the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. After settling briefly in England, the family immigrated to the United States in 1940 and moved to Los Angeles, where his father ran a candy store and Steven sold the Saturday Evening Post on the street. Approached by a Hollywood screenwriter on the street, Muller was introduced to moviemaking and eventually appeared in seven films, including "The White Cliffs of Dover." He became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1949. Choosing higher education over the movie industry, Muller graduated from UCLA in 1948 and received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. From 1949 to 1951 he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. After serving in the Army Signal Corps during 1954-1955, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University. While serving as Vice President for Public Affairs of Cornell University, Muller played a leading role in negotiating the end to the occupation of Willard Straight Hall by African American students on April 20, 1969.
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