Governor Dannel P. Malloy has directed State of Connecticut flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of State Representative Lawrence G. Miller. The Associated Press is reporting that State Rep Miller, who argued passionately on behalf of Connecticut's place in aviation history, has died at the age of 78. The cause of death has not yet been reported.
Rep Miller, a Republican who was first elected to the legislature in 1990, represented Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull. He has been re-elected every two years since.
Rep Miller insisted that a Connecticut aviator in 1901 was the first to fly and won legislation last year declaring that Gustave Whitehead of Bridgeport beat the Wright brothers by two years.
Most historians and aviation experts say Orville and Wilbur Wright earned the distinction of being the first to fly a heavier-than-air machine in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
"Larry Miller was a dedicated and passionate legislator who served Stratford, Shelton, and Trumbull since 1991 in the Connecticut General Assembly with great honor and distinction," Gov Malloy said. "Whether it was leading the charge to recognize Gustave Whitehead as the first in flight in our nation or advocating to enhance our state's environmental and energy policies, Larry Miller worked in a bipartisan manner to support the interests of his constituents and the citizens of Connecticut. His presence will truly be missed in the Connecticut General Assembly. Cathy and I send our condolences to his wife Mildred, his three children, and his constituents in the 122nd Assembly district."
Lt Governor Nancy Wyman said: "Larry Miller was a strong advocate for his constituents and for the State of Connecticut. I had the honor of working with him and knew him to be a dedicated leader, and a truly committed public servant. He will be greatly missed."
Per the governor's order, state flags are to remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of Rep Miller's interment, the date of which has not yet been determined.