Marty Sklar, once head of Imagineering, has passed away on July 27, 2017. He was in his home when he passed away.
He started working for Walt Disney in 1955. His first job was for the Disneyland News, and it was because of his working at the UCLA Bruin newspaper. After that he worked closely with Walt. He joined WED Enterprises to help make Disneyland, which became Imagineering. He was the head of Imagineering for many years before his retirement in 2009. Disneyland gave him the honor of having a window on Main Street dedicated to him.
After retiring he went on to write a few books about his career and what he learned. He also frequently appeared at various presentations, like at the D23 Expo. He even appeared at the Legends of Imagineering panel at this last D23 Expo.
Bob Iger, on the D23 site, said this about him:
“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career. He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”
I’ve had the privilege of hearing him on several occasions at panels. He always seemed to love working for the Disney company and especially having worked for Walt Disney. His help in creating many of the parks and attractions that are around the globe today is invaluable. He has a great legacy at the Walt Disney Company, and all he accomplished will continue to live on. He will be missed by fans and within the Disney company.
Below is a video at a D23 Expo presentation that he shared about working with Walt Disney as Cast Member and Imagineer.