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He was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Marianne (née Hartstein) and Werner A. Muller. He immigrated to the United States in 1940. He appeared in several films as a teenager. He became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1949.
Muller graduated from UCLA in 1948 and received his Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University. From 1949 to 1951 he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. After serving in the Army Signal Corps during 1954-1955, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University. While serving as Vice President for Public Affairs of Cornell University, Muller played a leading role in negotiating the end to the occupation of Willard Straight Hall by African American students on April 20, 1969.
In 1971 he became Provost at JHU, and went on to serve as the University’s 10th President.
Muller’s specialties were comparative government and international relations, with particular emphasis on political developments in Europe. He has authored a textbook and numerous articles in this field.
At the time of his death, Muller was co-chairman of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at JHU; trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States; member of the executive committee of the Atlantic Council of the United States.
He was also a trustee for many years on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary's College of Maryland where he played key roles in advancing the school to national prominence.
He died on January 19, 2013, at his home in Washington, DC. He was 85.
- From Occupation to Cooperation. The United States and United Germany in a Changing World Order (co-editor, with Gebhard Schweigler). W. W. Norton & Company, New York/London 1992, ISBN 0-393-96254-7
- Universities in the Twenty First Century (editor). Berghahn Books, Providence/Oxford 1996. ISBN 1-57181-026-9
- In Search of Germany (co-editor, with Michael Mertes and Heinrich August Winkler). Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick/London 1996, ISBN 1-56000-880-6
- Technology and Society in the 21st Century
- Past JHU Presidents
- SAIS Faculty and Scholar Index
- Steven Muller at the Internet Movie Database
- See http://www.aicgs.org/index.aspx.
- See STScI Website and Heiko Morisse: Jüdische Rechtsanwälte in Hamburg. Ausgrenzung und Verfolgung im NS-Staat. Christians Verlag, Hamburg 2003, p. 96.
- "Steven Muller, former president of Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, dies at 85". 19 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.