State representative who touted aviation dies

State Capitol building in Hartford. (File)
State Capitol building in Hartford. (File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State Rep. Larry Miller, who argued passionately on behalf of Connecticut’s place in aviation history, has died. He was 78.

House Republican leader Rep. Larry Cafero on Sunday called Miller a “consummate public servant and gentleman.” The cause of death was not reported.

Miller, a Republican who was first elected to the legislature in 1990, represented Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

He 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.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered flags at half-staff to honor Miller.

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