Michael David Hiller Collection

Michael David Hiller, Class of Summer 1955


Now part of the Garfield High School Archives and on display at the school library is Mr. Hiller’s letterman sweater, Tennis, 1955 and the official school and district authorization certificate for it to be worn by him. The school, students and staff would like to give a big thank you to Mr. Hiller’s daughters, Jaclyn and Elana, for sending this historic item to us.


Michael Hiller was born August 8th, 1938 in Chicago, Illinois to Jack and Anne Hiller.  His grandparents immigrated from Romania, his mother was born in Canada and his father was born in Philadelphia. Right after he was born, the family moved to the city of New York and later, in 1940, moved to the Los Angeles area so that his father could repair naval ships during World War II.


When the family settled in the East LA area, they lived first at 940 South Woods Avenue, half a block south of Whittier Boulevard, just behind the Golden Gate Theater, and a ten minute walk to Garfield High School. However, between 1952 and 1956 the family was living at 5137 E. 6th Street, literally, directly across the street from Garfield High School. I suppose he was never late for school.


He participated as a member of the Log staff (school newspaper), CSF, the Key Club, the Gavel Club (speech and debate), World Affairs Club, the Garlans (foreign language), Press Club (public relations), Noon Service and played for three years on the tennis team, becoming the top varsity player and lettering in that sport.  He was also a candidate for the Ephebians and would graduate with the Summer Class of 1955, going on to continue at USC (‘59), then on to Southwestern University Law School (‘61). Passing the Bar in 1962 at age 23, he would become the youngest lawyer in California. He was was also a real estate broker as of 1959.


In 1970, he married Rosalie Gottesman (she went to Hamilton High School and UCLA) and would later have two daughters.


Throughout his career he was active in many civic, service, and legal groups. During his career, Michael spoke to over 1,000 organizations throughout California. He led Bar Associations as President of the East Los Angeles-Montebello Bar since 1966 and the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association (now known as Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles) in 1980. From 1969 to 1971 he was President of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Legal Services Society (LANLSS). LANLSS was part of the War on Poverty and Office of Economic Opportunity. His activity in the California Trial Lawyers Association was marked by being Public Information Officer in 1972, Speaker Bureau Chairman for three years, and Editor-in-Chief of the CTLA magazine “The Forum.” From 1985 to 1989, Michael hosted a weekly radio talk show entitled “Mike Hiller’s Real Estate Rights.” In the 1990s Michael also became a stockbroker, thus starting his third simultanenous career.


Michael passed away on March 27, 2001 at age 62 after a brief illness. He continued to play competitive tennis until the last months of his life.