From Columbus, Indiana, to a Fortune 500 Empire
J. Irwin Miller, CEO of Cummins Engine Company, had a vision of transforming the small town of Columbus, Indiana, into a gem of midcentury modern architecture. Miller’s ideas and commitment inspired such legendary architects as I. M. Pei, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche, and others to contribute their designs to one of the most artistically revolutionary towns in the country. Improbably located in the heart of southern Indiana farmland, Columbus's unique public art and architecture continue to inspire young architects and attract visitors from around the world.
J. Irwin Miller and The Shaping of An American Town tells the life story of this remarkable man who led Cummins from its roots as a small, family business to an international Fortune 500 company. As president and then chairman of Cummins Engine Company, Miller emphasized a corporation’s responsibility to the community in which it was located and its other stakeholders—customers, stockholders, employees, and suppliers. He was not only a patron of the arts but played a significant role in an important period in the American civil rights movement, working with presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and helping to sponsor the March on Washington. Martin Luther King Jr., once called him "the most socially responsible businessman in the country."