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Songwriter Ron Miller, 74, dies

July 24, 2007 at 4:31 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 24 (UPI) -- Motown's Ron Miller, who wrote hit songs for some of the top singers of the past 50 years, has died of cardiac arrest in California. He was 74.

Perhaps best remembered for the Diana Ross hit "Touch Me in the Morning" and Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life," Miller also penned songs recorded by Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Gladys Knight and Ray Charles, CBS News reported Tuesday.

He also wrote the lyrics for musicals such as "Daddy Goodness" and "Cheery."

Miller, a Chicago native who served in the Marines, worked odd jobs and sold washing machines before hitting Detroit in the 1960s. He died Monday at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center after a lengthy struggle with emphysema and cancer, his daughter, Lisa Dawn Miller said. Miller also is survived by his wife Aurora and five other children.

Motown founder Berry Gordy, who recognized Miller's talent when he spotted him performing in a Detroit piano bar, often called him "the only white guy in Motown."

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