June 18, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Earl A. Miller, whose development of release bindings, wide powder skis and ski brakes earned him a spot in the National Ski Hall of Fame, died Friday in Owensville, Mo. He was 77.

Utah native Miller grew up in Sanpete County during the Depression, skiing on wooden planks at primitive ski areas on the Wasatch Plateau. During World War II, he flew P-51 Mustangs.

From a shop in Orem, Miller invented the step-in, multiple-release ski binding, the wide powder ski, the strapless pole handle and ski brakes. “He has worked to make skiing safe and more fun, and has more inventions beneficial to skiers than all other ski inventors in the world combined, the U.S. Ski Association said in Miller’s 1994 induction announcement.

Two years later, Miller won the Quinney Award, which honors contributions to the Utah ski industry.

Miller also invented a releasable snowboard binding, which has yet to be embraced by the snowboarders. He also published a book called, “Snowboard Deaths, The Cover Up.”

A few years ago, he renamed his firm Miller Snowboard Corp., left one of his four children, attorney Matthew Miller, in charge and moved to Owensville, Mo.

There he continued to tinker with such inventions as silverware with oversized grip handles for arthritis sufferers. He had at least 70 patents.