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.
In 1971 Muller became Provost at JHU, under President Lincoln Gordon. Shortly after being named Provost, Gordon abruptly resigned from the Hopkins presidency, under pressure from senior faculty, and left town shortly thereafter. Milton S. Eisenhower returned to the presidency in an interim capacity, with Muller serving as Provost. In 1972 he became the University's 10th President, and thereafter was named president of Johns Hopkins Hospital.He was the first person to serve as head of both the University and the Hospital since Daniel Coit Gilman in 1889. Muller was the second longest serving president of JHU, serving until his retirement in 1990. He was president of JHH until 1983.
During his 18-year tenure as president:
Muller's specialties were comparative government and international relations, with particular emphasis on political developments in Europe. He has authored a textbook and numerous articles in this field.
At the time of his death, Muller was co-chairman of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studiesat JHU; trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States; member of the executive committee of the Atlantic Council of the United States.
He was also a trustee for many years on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's College of Maryland where he played key roles in advancing the school to national prominence.
In June 1990, the main building of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore was named "Steven Muller Building" after him.
He died on January 19, 2013, at his home in Washington, DC. He was 85.
The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest —of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's historic Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research. The university has additional graduate campuses in Italy, China, and Washington, D.C., in addition to its main campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The university has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top universities in the world.
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