NEW YORK — William Miles, a self-taught filmmaker whose documentaries revealed untold stories of black America, including those of its heroic black soldiers and of life in its signature neighborhood Harlem, where he himself grew up, died May 12 in Queens. He was 82.
The cause was uncertain, but Miles had myriad health problems, including Parkinson’s disease and dementia, said his wife of 61 years, Gloria.
Miles was part historical sleuth, part preservationist, part bard. His films, which combined archival footage, still photographs and fresh interviews, were triumphs of curiosity and persistence in unearthing lost material about forgotten subjects.
His first important film, ‘‘Men of Bronze’’ (1977), was about the Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, an all-black combat unit in World War I.