In Memoriam: Elijah Walter Miles, 1934-2020

E. Walter Miles, a former professor of political science at San Diego State University, died in San Diego on July 8. He was 86 years old.

A native of Hearne, Texas, Dr. Miles was a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea, he earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in government at Indiana University. While completing his graduate studies at Indiana University, Dr. Miles was active in the movement to desegregate restaurants in Bloomington.

Dr. Miles joined the faculty at San Diego State University in 1966. At that time he was the only African American on the university’s faculty. This earned him the nickname “The Godfather of Black Faculty.”

Dr. Miles spent 30 years on the faculty at San Diego State. He chaired the political science department and was active in efforts to increase diversity on campus.


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