Marvin Julian Miller was born April 14, 1917, in the Bronx and was raised in Brooklyn. His father sold women’s clothing and was a labor organizer. His mother was a schoolteacher and an early member of a teachers union.
He graduated in 1938 from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and had early jobs with the Treasury Department and New York City’s welfare department. A shoulder damaged at birth prevented his military service in World War II. He worked instead for the National War Labor Board and later had jobs with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the International Association of Machinists.
In 1950, he began a 16-year association with United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh, eventually becoming the union’s chief economist and top negotiator. He was appointed to labor-management panels by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
His wife of 69 years, the former Theresa Morgenstern, died in 2009. Survivors include two children, Peter Miller and Susan Miller, and a grandson.
After Mr. Miller retired from the players association in 1982, he remained active in baseball as a consultant and a caustic observer.
To the end, he and his successor at the players union, Don Fehr — now the head of the NHL Players Association — resisted making any concessions to baseball’s owners. Their staunch opposition to random drug testing during baseball’s steroid era contributed to the alienation of many fans, who thought the union had grown as selfish and intransigent as the ownership it had fought against in the past.
“If Marvin Miller’s position had held,” Costas said Tuesday, “there would be no drug testing. There would be impunity for steroid users, and records would be in question.”
Still, Costas and other observers — including Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig — said that Mr. Miller’s contributions to baseball were unparalleled and that he deserves enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
In 2010, after he fell one vote short, Mr. Miller said, “It is an amusing anomaly that the Hall of Fame has made me famous by keeping me out.”
Matt Schudel contributed to this report.