Stephen G. Miller was born in Goshen, Indiana, U.S.A., in 1942. He earned an A.B. in Ancient Greek at Wabash College, and a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from Princeton University. After excavations at various sites, including Olympia and in the ancient Agora of Athens, he began his own excavations at Nemea in 1973. During his years in Nemea, he not only made major discoveries such as the stadium where the Nemean Games took place, but also created an archaeological park, constructed and set the displays for an archaeological museum, and began reconstruction of the ancient Temple of Zeus. At the same time he served as Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of California at Berkeley, except for the years from 1982–1987 when he was Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

His publications include many books and articles about his discoveries at Nemea, e.g. Nemea II: The Early Hellenistic Stadium (University of California Press 2001), and he is also the author of non-Nemea books such as The Prytaneion: Its Function and Architectural Form (U.C. Press 1978), Arete: Greek Sports from Ancient Sources3 (U.C. Press 2004), Ancient Greek Athletics (Yale University Press 2004), and The Berkeley Plato (U.C. Press 2009).

He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Athens, decorated by the President of the Hellenic Republic as Commander of the Order of Honor, recognized as “Person of the Week” by the U.S. television company ABC in 2004, and received Greek citizenship by decree of the President of the Greek Republic in 2005.