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How the Editor of Jet Magazine Once Defied Death: Some Other Interesting Facts

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mitzi miller

By Yolanda Spivey

Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine, is truly a remarkable woman. In the past, she has written for Essence, Vibe, Uptown Magazine, Honey and Jane magazines, just to name a few.  She also co-authored two books —  “The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Life,” published by Penguin Group, and “The Vow,” published by HarperCollins Publishers — and a three-book series called “Hotlanta,” for which she sold TV and film rights. She has also tried her hand at writing screenplays. When she took her post at Jet Magazine back in 2011, sales were down  and ad revenues were at its lowest in the magazine’s history.  But Mitzi Miller was down for the challenge to turn Jet Magazine back to the thriving magazine it once was.  She was recently named the top 40 people under 40 by ChicagoBusiness.com.  Here are some other facts about Mitzi Miller that may be of interest to you:

She Didn’t Set Out To Be A Writer– Mitzi Miller stated in interviews that she never wanted to be a writer—but an English teacher instead.  Her 8th grade teacher Ms. Wilson inspired her to love literature and instilled in her a love for words.  She likens herself to an accidental writer; she always loved telling stories and feels that the art of storytelling is one of her strong points.

She Defied Death– At the age of 21, Mitzi Miller was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and had to undergo a liver transplant. She stated that liver recipients usually don’t live beyond 10 years after their transplants, and she feels lucky and grateful that she is still here.  When asked in an interview about her disease and work ethic, Mitzi stated, “I’m a rattler and we don’t give up, we go hard, we finish what we start.  I’m a true rattler.”

She’s A Star– Mitzi Miller has reoccurring appearances on many VH1‘s comedic shows including Best Week Ever. She has also appeared on ABC’s top rated morning show, Good Morning America, The Food Network and performed in the 2006 annual benefit production of Eve Ensler’s award winning stage play, “The Vagina Monologues” at the Apollo Theater.

She Took A Chance– Mitzi Miller started out as a Sales and Marketing Assistant for a trade publication.  She was quite unhappy and unfulfilled in that role.  One night while out with a group of friends, Mitzi Miller spotted Honey magazine Editor-in Chief Amy Dubois Barnett and said to her, “Listen you don’t know me, but I love the magazine and would really really really love to work with you. I’m an English major, which means I am trainable, and I’m going to be a star, so you should get on the ground level before I blow up and become like Oprah.” The next day she accepted an unpaid editorial internship at Honey magazine and the rest is history.

She Had Beef With Fantasia– Earlier this year, Jet Magazine used a 10 year old photograph of Fantasia on their March cover issue which upset the R& B singer.  Fantasia considered the move by Jet “unprofessional and disrespectful.” Mitzi Miller released a statement to the public addressing Fantasia’s concerns, but she continued to get negative backlash from readers which angered Mitzi.  So she took the matter to her Facebook page and posted the following statement: “The fact that I wasted an hour of my workday writing a press release to address an issue created by a person who cannot even read it is just…” She has since apologized for her actions stating that “it was a thoughtless comment made during a time of frustration.  It was unprofessional and not representative of the JET’s mission, which is to uplift.”