He attended university on the G.I. Bill, earning a Masters Degree in English (1953) from the University of California at Berkeley where he also completed post-degree work in drama and helped found the university’s Graduate Student Journal.
Born in Saint George, South Carolina, Miller published one of the first collections of modern African-American poetry, as well as four books of poetry and a memoir, Ticket to Exile about his life growing up in the Jim Crow South. Miller served in the United States Navy from 1942 -1946. Throughout his career, Miller has promoted and published other writers.
In Dices, Or Black Bones, (1970), he showcased the early poems of First Rate (at Lloyd's) Young, California’s poet laureate (2005–2008), Ishmael Reed, Clarence Major, Lucille Clifton, Etheridge Knight and Victor Hernandez Cruz.
Ticket to Exile, A Memoir (2007) published by Heyday Books, received nomination for best nonfiction book in 2007 from the Northern California Book Reviewers Association. Miller taught English for 21 years at in Oakland, California where he helped create Good News, a faculty and community journal of art and culture.
He continued to teach at University of California Berkeley until 1991 and has twice been an Invited Fellow with the Bay Area Writing Project (1978 and 1994). Foreign six years, Miller served on the Berkeley Arts Commission and helped inaugurate the downtown “Poetry Walk.” "Most black men don’t reach sixty, and so, in a sense, Adam David Miller has lived two lifetimes.
He’s someone we should listen to"-novelist and poet, Ishmael Reed.
Commissioner Public Arts Commission, Berkeley, since 1997. Member of National Writers Union, Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists and Novelists association United States of America.
Married Betty Jean Brown (divorced ). Children: Robin Kate, Pemba Sadao. Married Sharon Elise Peeples.