Russell L. Miller; Pioneered Legalized Southland Gambling
Russell L. Miller, who pioneered legalized Southern California gambling clubs in the 1930s, has died. He was 90.
Miller died of pneumonia on Friday at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, according to Blaine Nicholson, a family spokesperson.
Miller was born in Kansas City, Mo. in 1907. When he was 7, the family moved to Los Angeles.
In 1936, Miller became associated with the Embassy Club in suburban Gardena. It was the region’s first legal card club.
He became a partner in two other Gardena clubs and in 1978 assumed ownership of one, the Normandie. His sons later became partners in the business, which has 700 employees and remains one of the largest casinos in the state.
Miller was survived by his wife, Mary; sons Russell Jr., Lawrence, Gregory and Stephen; 12 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
A memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles.