Miller was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Educated at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas, he worked as an engineer. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radioman and tail gunner, flying more than fifty bombing missions over Italy. He took part in the bombing of the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino, which proved a traumatic experience for him. Joe Haldeman reported that Miller “had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 30 years before it had a name”.
After the war, Miller converted to Catholicism. He married Anna Louise Becker in 1945, and they had four children. For several months in 1953 he lived with science-fiction writer Judith Merril, ex-wife of Frederik Pohl and a noted science-fiction author in her own right.
Between 1951 and 1957, Miller published over three dozen science fiction short stories, winning a Hugo Award in 1955 for the story “The Darfsteller”. He also wrote scripts for the television show Captain Video in 1953. Late in the 1950s, Miller assembled a novel from three closely related novellas he had published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1955, 1956, and 1957. The novel, entitled A Canticle for Leibowitz, was published in 1959.
Books in order of publication:
Dark Benediction -1951
Command Performance – 1952
Check and Checkmate: A Science Fiction Satire – 1953
Death of a Spaceman – 1954
The Hoofer – 1955
A Canticle for Leibowitz – 1959
The View from the Stars – 1965
The Science Fiction Stories Of Walter M. Miller, Jr – 1978
Conditionally Human And Other Stories – 1982
The Darfsteller And Other Stories – 1982
Beyond Armageddon: Twenty-One Sermons to the Dead – 1985
Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman – 1997
Classic Science Fiction by Walter M. Miller, Jr. – 2010
Two Worlds of Walter M. Miller – 2010
Way of a Rebel by Walter M. Miller Jr., Science Fiction, Fantasy – 2011