When Leonard Miller died July 28 at age 69, production building lost one of its founding fathers.
Miller lived to see Lennar Corp., the Miami-based company he founded in 1954 and took public in 1972, reach the pinnacle of PB’s Giants rankings in 2001 and retain the mantle this year on revenue of $5.5 billion (23,899 closings).
Consistency was the mark of the man. “He was very disciplined in his personal life as well as in business,” says fellow housing legend Art Rutenberg, who knew Miller for more than 40 years. “In business, he was able to separate tactics from strategy and grow Lennar consistently no matter what happened in the marketplace. He created a financial powerhouse by building people more than houses.
“The best compliment I can pay to Leonard is to say just look at what his son Stuart is doing with that company. Not many builders are able to transition from one generation to the next. Leonard did it better than anyone, in a family firm that’s also a public company.”
Bob Strudler led U.S. Home as one of Miller’s competitors and then merged with Lennar in 2000 to create the juggernaut we see today. “I knew Leonard for over 30 years,” he says. “We will miss his leadership and humility every day as we try to carry on his work. Whenever I try to use words to describe a life like Leonard Miller’s, I find them totally inadequate.” So do we.